Taylor: It's a step in the right direction

Matt Taylor highlighted the positives in Bristol Rovers’ 0-0 home draw with Shrewsbury Town. 

The Rovers manager watched as his side fought to the end in an entertaining stalemate at The Memorial Ground, one which saw the Gas go close through Chris Martin, Luke Thomas and Jevani Brown, who hit the post just moments after coming on as a substitute. 

Not that the home side had it all their own way, as Aiden O’Brien hit the woodwork and Jed Ward made a smart save late on to deny the visitors a smash-and-grab in the South West. 

While Rovers were unable to find the all-important finish that would secure three points, Taylor was happy with the efforts in claiming a clean-sheet and to see Thomas and Grant Ward return to action in Monday’s Sky Bet League One outing…


We just lacked a goal today. 

We know we weren’t at our fluent best over the course of the 90 minutes but we still created some chances that made us feel better about ourselves and give ourselves confidence.

We forced our opposition into some changes so we’re generally pleased with the intent. From where we’ve been in the last couple of games, it’s a much-improved effort. 




It’s a step in the right direction. 

We know there are many things we can do a lot better but, in terms of what we created and limiting our opponent, they had one shot of note that Jed Ward saved. Shrewsbury always have a threat about them, but we just needed to make more of those attacking opportunities. 


The defenders did their job today.

We’ll always want more in terms of possession and playing out, but I liked their intent a lot today. I thought we manned Shrewsbury pretty well and, bar one moment, Jed wasn’t really put under pressure. 


It was a cleaner defensive performance.

The way Shrewsbury went about their work, they had a physical front line and then they brought on players who ran the channels. There was strength in that opposition team and our defensive is still quite a young group, goalkeeper included, and I really liked the way Jed was so positive in his efforts.

Those moments are so important. Even when James Wilson was off the pitch, we defended a set-piece properly, and they’ve got some big lads in their team. So that’s progression for me. The only thing we missed today was the goal. 




It’s great to have Luke Thomas and Grant Ward back out there. 

It’s an introduction and it shows some more legs and adds more to the team. Luke showed some good signs when he came on and, once we can get more out of him from a fitness perspective then he’ll be pushing for a start. 

With Wardy as well, he covers the ground well. There are different ways to attack and to defend and, in a tight game, we’re looking for that little extra. 


We’re deloading Kamil Conteh to a certain extent.

I think he’s played more minutes than anyone since he’s signed for us. We’re conscious of him, and he had a bit of tiredness after the game on Friday, and we have to keep an eye on performance levels.

I think it will do him the world of good and, with some midfield options coming back in, I’m looking forward to seeing the lads in a better physical place and how our game unfolds on the back of it. 

Read Time: 3 mins