Manager Reaction | Matt Taylor on Wigan defeat, Kofi Shaw’s debut and off-season preparations


Matt Taylor insisted the hard work ahead of the 2024/25 campaign has already begun for Bristol Rovers.

The closing match of the 2023/24 season saw Rovers lose 2-0 to Wigan Athletic, courtesy of goals in either half for Josh Magennis and Jonny Smith. 

A frustrating end to the campaign means the Gas close out the season in 15th, and manager Taylor says he, his coaching staff and the Club are already putting the ground work in place ahead of a busy summer and pre-season. 

We didn’t start the game with enough intent or intensity. 

We didn’t have enough sprints in us and we paid the price by going a goal down. Then, early in the second half, there was a poor moment from ourselves and the game was over at 2-0. 

Like I said in the lead up to this game, I don’t want that to just be a reflection on the group of players out there because we’re in the double digits in terms of senior players not available. And some of those players are important players in certain positions. 

The goals we conceded weren’t good. 

I think that’s probably happened too often this season. I think we’ve conceded the second most goals in the league which is a daming statistic. The other aspect is that we need to create more and score more. 

We can talk about not having centre-forwards but we still need to get the ball in and around the opposition box. We didn’t have anyone waiting to get on the end of a cross, or be in the box and score a tap-in. With no one quite like that on the pitch then you’re losing out on crossing opportunities and you forcing it too many times. 


We wanted to get Kofi Shaw on the pitch. 

We felt this was a good opportunity to get him on the pitch and get him some minutes. Young players are incredible but they can need the strength and the glue of the senior ones. It will have been easier and more enjoyable in that situation, but at least he’s got out there and sampled it in this atmosphere.

It’s a really good starting point for him and we want more young ones to come through. That youth side of it is starting to show and that’s got to be the foundation for this football club for a long time to come.

I think everyone knows we’re going to have a busy summer. 

We’ve got six loans to go back and there are eight players out of contract. So, straight away, before anything else, that’s a big turnaround. In terms of replacements, you need bodies in the building. We’re looking forward to getting to work in relation to that.

It’s a strange time of year because everything seems to go to sleep for the next three or four weeks, but we want to get as many through the door as early as possible, because we know how important pre-season will be in terms of bedding them in.

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