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Matt Taylor frustrated after Bristol Rovers loss

27 September 2021

Walsall Head Coach Matt Taylor was frustrated with the manner in which his team fell to defeat against Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

The Saddlers were leading thanks to Kieran Phillips’ first half strike but Connor Taylor and Sion Spence turned the game on its head with two late goals.

Taylor was frustrated that his team didn’t take their chances to put the game beyond doubt but he was more disappointed with the way his side conceded the two goals.

“We’ve not lost a game of football because the opposition have cut us open, we’ve lost a game of football because we haven’t done our job at set plays so it’s not good enough in that aspect,” Taylor said.

“We all take responsibility, 100 per cent and I take responsibility.

“It’s a difficult one because I felt that even in the second half we had two or three wonderful opportunities to make it 2-0 and then unfortunately, we’ve had two of the boys injured and had to come off the pitch which changes the shape and it makes it slightly disjointed but saying that, we should still defend better at the set plays and it’s unacceptable to concede the goals that we did in that way.

“That’s the disappointing thing is that we’ve lost a game of football based on two set plays, it’s inexcusable really to be perfectly frank.

"It’s now a case of removing the emotion but I asked the players to reflect honestly and openly because when we’re back in for training, we need to make sure that we’re better in training and we take that into games in terms of set plays.”

Taylor admitted there wasn’t too many positives to take from Saturday’s match but he was pleased to see Phillips get on the scoresheet and score his first goal of the campaign with a composed effort.

“He took it exceptionally well,” Taylor commented.

“Unfortunately, his hamstring was very tight and I had to make a call on that. Kieran is a player who is growing in confidence, he’s getting better and he’s scoring goals at this level.

“There will be far more to come from Kieran so that’s a positive but it’s the only positive to take out of the game.”

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