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Taylor: "There were promising signs"

9 August 2021

Walsall Head Coach Matt Taylor felt there were promising signs from his team despite the disappointment of losing on the opening day.

Callum McManaman scored the only goal of the game as Tranmere Rovers triumphed at Prenton Park on Saturday.

Taylor hopes the players can use Saturday’s game as a learning curve and build on moments of encouragement.

“We’re disappointed we’ve lost the game,” Taylor said.

“When we look at the balance of play and balance of chances, we got behind them three times in the second half and we haven’t delivered correctly or made the right runs.

“There are promising signs in terms of I thought Tyrese was very good, very direct. At times I wanted him to be more so but it’s his first professional appearance.

“We are extremely disappointed we’ve lost the game but the thing is, it’s the first game of the season and there are 45 more league games. When you look at it like that, of course we hoped that we wouldn’t have lost all three points today and we hoped that we’d come here and take something.

“Tranmere finished seventh in the league last year, we’ve got a group of players who want and strive to get better but when you look at the big moments in the game, we didn’t take them. We had a great chance at the end but unfortunately it just didn’t drop for us but that’s football.

“I’ve said it before, it’s a game in both boxes and ironically, they score a goal that I think we had enough chances to replicate.

“When you look at it, we’d have loved to have kept a clean sheet so there is plenty to work on in the middle of the pitch.

"I think at times we were slightly too expansive in possession when we turned the ball over and we didn’t get that first pass off and we rushed ever so slightly but that’s normal in these situations when you’ve got a group of players desperate for success.

“It’s difficult because there is a lot of emotion for the players on the pitch. You look at the fans and they’re desperate to do well for them but they’re also desperate to do well for each other.

“We’ve got to use it as a learning curve for all of us and hopefully the next time the players go out onto the pitch, they relax a bit more and make better decisions in possession.”

The Saddlers were backed by an impressive 1,293 fans at Prenton Park at the weekend.

Taylor was delighted with the support and is looking forward to the upcoming home matches.

“It’s brilliant to see so many of our loyal Walsall fans here,” he commented.

“From my perspective, I wish we could have given them something to go home to be happy about, some points in the bag. I’ve said it previously, we will need the fans as much as possible this year.

"I think you can see the team are out there trying their best. Of course, every game there is going to be things we want to improve on but in terms of their vocal support and back in the lads, I thought they were fantastic.

"From my point of view, I’m really excited for the first home game and then we go again next weekend against Forest Green in the league so lots to look forward to and I thank them all for their support.”

Attention now turns to Tuesday’s Carabao Cup first round clash with Doncaster Rovers at the Banks’s Stadium.

Click here to buy your tickets or call the Ticket Office on 01922 651 416.

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