'They taught us a lesson' - Bristol Rovers boss hails superior Derby County who blew the Gas away at the Mem

Matt TaylorMatt Taylor
Matt Taylor
Rovers were comfortably beaten at the hands of Paul Warne's Rams on Saturday afternoon.

Bristol Rovers manager Matt Taylor was full of praise for promotion pushing Derby County as they taught the Gas a "lesson" in their 3-0 triumph at the Memorial stadium.

The Rams controlled proceedings throughout and Dwight Gayle put Paul Warne's men ahead early in the second-half, before Tom Barkhuizen doubled their lead only minutes later. Meanwhile, substitute Martyn Waghorn wrapped up proceedings as he tapped home from close range, which saw the visitors go second in the table.

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"I thought they manned the game today, they taught us a real lesson in terms of how to manage the game," said Taylor. "How to manipulate certain situations and that's why they've got the strength of Derby County at this level, it’s there for all to see."

Rovers were unable to lay a glove on County, whose class shone through as they leapfrogged Bolton Wanderers in the League One table. "It was a stark contrast to where we want to be in terms of the inexperienced aspect of our backline. They stood up to it pretty well first-half and then you start looking at some of our bigger performers to come to the fore in the second-half and we didn't quite do that."

The Gas have faired well against the so-called better teams in the league this season having beaten the likes of Portsmouth and Bolton. "Its disappointing in different ways," said Taylor. "First-half we couldn't quite cover the space in terms of the two shapes of the teams and then they came out on top in relation to that. But we actually defended our defensive third, our box and our goal pretty well in the first-half, as much they have us under pressure. They had the possession, Jed (Ward) was not overworked in relation to that. "

The two sides went into the interval 0-0, and Taylor would have been happy that his team had kept a clean-sheet in the first-half. "We changed shape at half-time and we were a better functioning team in the second-half, but then three moments came, two of which we've been in possession of the ball in relation to the goals and then one set piece just took its toll and then obviously the quality of the opposition players really showed."

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Saturday's defeat left the Gas in midtable in 12th position. Taylor's side have 10 games left until the end of the season and the 42-year-old will be hoping for a reaction when Rovers travell to Fleetwood Town on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, the Rams host Reading on the same evening.

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