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Interviews

Taylor: Derby defeat is a disappointing one

9 March 2024

Interviews

Taylor: Derby defeat is a disappointing one

9 March 2024

 

Matt Taylor was disappointed with the nature of Bristol Rovers’ defeat to Derby County, but also recognised the quality on display from the opposition. 

The away side ran out 3-0 winners at The Memorial Stadium courtesy of a trio of second-half finishes. Dwight Gayle and Tom Barkhuizen put the Rams two goals ahead, on 54 and 58 minutes, before substitute Martyn Waghorn wrapped up the points late on. 

While defeat was frustrating for the Gas, Manager Taylor found positives in his side’s second-half efforts against a Derby team chasing promotion…

 

It’s a disappointing one in different ways. 

In the first half, we couldn’t quite cover the space in terms of the two shapes of the teams, and Derby County came out on top in relation to that. But we actually defended our box and our goal in the first half pretty well, as much as they had the possession. 

We changed shape at half-time and we were a better functioning team in the second half but then three moments, two of which we were in possession of the ball and one set-piece, just took its toll. I think the quality of the opposition really showed.

 

We couldn’t get up the pitch. 

Derby stretched it and then really drew it out on the outside, and we couldn’t stop the balls at the source when they were coming across. Their shape and set-up was stronger than ours and I was pleased to get in at half-time with the game 0-0.

It allowed us to change things and then it was more of a match-up game, and we were looking for our players to come out on top in more individual situations than we did. It’s frustrating and we have to be better. Our ball use wasn’t good enough today.

 

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In terms of individual aspects, Derby manned the game today.

I thought they taught us a real lesson in managing a game out and manipulating certain situations. They have a lot of strength at this level and it’s there for all to see, and it’s a stark contrast to where we are in certain aspects.

 

We can improve certain strategies around injury prevention during the season.

But I think you do your main work in the off-season and pre-season. I think that’s where you set your standards and set your body up for what’s to come.

For so many of our players, it’s been a stop-start season. So many are threatening to find some rhythm, like the team, and then it falls down.


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