After a very shaky start to the new campaign for rookie manager Matty Taylor, the former West Ham man has come out and backed his squad to bounce back amid some concern from supporters.
Walsall lost for the 3rd time in the league already this season on Saturday, going down 2-0 to Hartlepool in a miserable away day for the travelling Saddlers fans. Taylor’s side dominated possession however created very little with it, mustering just the one shot on target.
Such was the poorness of the team’s performance, Defender Ash Taylor took to Twitter following the game to apologise for the side’s display. Taylor’s tweet stated ‘ yesterday was unacceptable’
The defender would go on to add that ‘we fell way below the standard’ and that they will ‘put it right’ – quite the words for 4 games into a new season…
Following the game on Saturday, Taylor was questioned by Joe Edwards of the Express and Star about the state of his Walsall squad, and whether or not he believes it to be adequate enough to achieve the clubs goals of promotion to League One.
Taylor did make a mention of the current injuries at the club, saying that they have ‘players that would be useful to us out injured’ and that the club were ‘working as hard as possible to get those players back’
Taylor also did mention that the club were still active in the transfer market and that he personally wants ‘to add one or two more players to the squad’
The main takeaway, however, was Taylor putting his full backing into the players, adding that ‘we still have a very good group of players’ and he urged fans not to be too reactionary in a modern era in which football is such a fickle game.
Taylor also heaped the onus onto his squad, asking them to ‘show everybody’ how good they truly are.
A very emotional interview from the Walsall boss, Taylor clearly is a man who isn’t afraid to say how he truly feels to the media, this interview certainly showed that. Admitting that he was feeling ‘very emotional and down’ after the defeat to Pools, Taylor’s feelings probably mirror that of his side’s dressing room, with the club failing to live up to their pre season expectations.
Taylor will have a difficult job to galvanise the group before they host a very tough to beat Stevenage side at the weekend, and surely Taylor will expect nothing short of an excellent team performance by the players in which he has publicly backed.
Taylor said that they would hope to use this start as ‘motivation for the rest of the season’ he will be hoping that the squad can learn from their early season woes and learn to penetrate more in possession of the ball, as opposed to pointlessly keeping it. This has been a criticism levelled at the club since Taylor’s reign began this season, and it surely will be something the gaffer will be drilling into his squad on the training ground.