Matt Taylor: We’re learning the hard way at the moment


Matt Taylor could find positives in Bristol Rovers’ performance but admitted defeat to Bolton Wanderers was another hard lesson learned. 

The Gas put on a commendable, battling effort against the promotion-chasing Wanderers at The Memorial Stadium and looked like the better team for much of the first half and the early exchanges of the second, with Chris Martin and Luke Thomas both going close. 

But a disappointing moment in midfield for the home side allowed Bolton to open the scoring just moments later, through former Rovers attacker Aaron Collins, before the Trotters wrapped up the three points with a late penalty courtesy of Aaron Morley.

Defeat, in particular the manner of the loss, felt harsh on Rovers, but manager Taylor is keen for his side to learn from the frustrations felt in failing to pick up points. 

The boss recognised the team are in a difficult run of form but backed the side to bounce back, given the effort’s shown in Saturday’s fixture…


It was a harsh result but it’s another lesson learned. 

In terms of the first goal, it’s just too poor from ourselves in terms of what is needed in that moment. We’re learning the hard way at the moment.


We had some great chances at the start of the second half. 

We ended the first half really well too. It’s just not going for us at the moment in those final efforts. We’ve seen a couple of saves, a couple of ricochets, a couple of nearly moments. We just need a little more in relation to that.

At the same time, when our goalkeeper has not been worked all game and then you concede a goal like that, it’s bitterly frustrating. It’s a lesson for the players. 




Too many times we’ve said we’re defensively sound as a team, but then we’re behind and chasing the game. 

There’s a recognition and an awareness that comes with the game. We tried to style out of the moment that led to the first goal and that ends up taking away from the good, hard work we’d done up until that point.

In fairness, we were playing against a strong passing team and they worked our backline and the space in behind in the second half. As the goal came, it puts real possession on your quality in the final third and we didn’t quite have it there. 


The first 20 minutes, in terms of intent, I couldn’t fault it.

From 20 minutes onwards, we played reality well. We had that period up until half-time, and then started the second half very well, but all of a sudden we’re chasing the game. 


I’m pleased with James Connolly.

He can use the ball and he’s composed on it. He prides himself on his defensive actions and he can certainly play with his head up, which is quite a rarity for a centre-back. It’s pleasing that he’s got some game time and he’ll continue in the next five games, as long as his body allows.

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