Taylor: We're moving in the right direction


Matt Taylor was delighted with Bristol Rovers’ defensive resilience and efforts in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Fleetwood Town.

While the Gas and the Fishermen played out a stalemate at Highbury Stadium, manager Taylor took pride in his team’s desire to defend and the chances the side created. 

While Rovers could not make one of the goalscoring opportunities really count, Taylor could see that his team are making strides in the right direction as the Sky Bet League One season nears its final stretch…


I think we had the majority of the chances. 

We hit the bar and the post, and there were goalkeeper saves and blocks in there too. We created the better chances, but against a Fleetwood team who are going well at home, we have to withstand a bit of pressure too.

I thought our young goalkeeper and young defensive backline stood up to it really well, and we’re moving in the right direction. We’ve been working so hard on our defensive units and defensive mindsets, and I think that was on show tonight. 


The clean-sheet is massive. 

I know people will look at Fleetwood Town away, and know they’re a team towards the bottom of the league, but we’ve been so leaky as a team. Connor Taylor played so well tonight, coming back into the team, and Elkan Baggot stood up to it. Flash and Pooley too, and the goalkeeper, I’m so pleased with them. That’s where we’ve been short this season.




Very rarely have we failed to score in a game, and very rarely have we not converted our chances.

It just wasn’t our night in that respect, but I cannot ask for much more from the team. We had near moments but, if the team is going to be short of anything, let us be short in the attacking end rather than the defensive end. 


Antony Evans had the best chance of the first half. 

He was able to play a bit higher up the pitch, with Sam Finley and Kamil Conteh playing deeper. They were able to build us up the pitch and allowed Antony to be involved in that next layer. 

We’ll all be a bit tinged with disappointment that we’ve not won the game but let’s not understate where we’ve been this season in terms of clean-sheets. We looked like a team that wanted to defend this evening. 




I’m really pleased. 

I want to get that message across. People will see the scoreline but, in terms of where I’ve seen this team at times, our fans will understand that we’re seeing some real progress. 


It was really nice to get Grant Ward back out there. 

There’s no pressure on him between now and the end of the season. We’ll be using him in spurts, and there is still a real risk when it comes to that injury reoccurring. That’s the nature and severity of it. It was great to see him back on the pitch, affecting the game with his dynamic nature. 

Managing that injury is the million dollar question. He goes hard in games and we’ve got to match that to a certain extent in the week, but not then put him at that fatigue level. But it’s great to have him back.

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