'How about personal pride?' - Matt Taylor calls for 'recruitment' following Bristol Rovers' defeat to Burton Albion
Bristol Rovers boss Matt Taylor calls for "recruitment at the end of the season," and believes his players should be playing for "personal pride," following the Gas' 2-1 home defeat to Burton Albion on Saturday afternoon.
The former Rothertham United boss was visibly frustrated after the match, since his side lost have now lost back-to-back home games in the space of five days. "That is going to be down recruitment at the end of the season," said Taylor. "But this group of players can get that right and one thing we are working as hard as we possibly can with them every single day is to evaluate it and to recognise it and to execute, but unfortunately the game always tells us the truth and when you go a goal down in that type of game and on that type of pitch is so difficult to get back in the game."
The Brewers took the lead just before the interval as Ciaran Gilligan side-footed the ball, which looped over the helpless Jed Ward into the back of the net. Post-match Taylor was very upset with his team's application. "How about personal pride? How about understanding what the shirt means? When the ball's there you have to challenge and I've tried my hardest to be as consistent as I possibly can in terms of giving the players a chance. Every single game when we get beat like this I have to then change it because I have to be seen to change it."
Burton scored their second goal when Mark Helm 10 minutes into the second-half had time and space, stabbing the ball past the young Rovers goalkeeper. "I’ve got to be really careful," said Taylor. "We've been angry in the time I've been here, we have showed our frustration in relation to that. I can't change that, it is a clear weakness and it seems to have been there for longer than this season."
The Gas did manage to pull one back through Antony Evans, whose brilliant first time shot caught Max Crocombe off guard in the Burton net on the hour mark. However, the hosts were unable to find an equaliser and have now lost five out of their last six home matches. "It drives you absolutely mad," said Taylor. "But we need these players on Tuesday, we need to perform. "Regardless of who I've changed personnel wise, the outcome is still the same and I've been now jumping to different formations and different solutions to search for that but I guarantee it won't change because unfortunately the nature of the squad and the DNA of the squad is not to go towards the ball, we are not capable of doing that so we're going to have to find a way of protecting them. But I can't protect against the goal kick, I can't protect against certain moments in the game which happen more often in a game like that and then the pressure that is put on our attacking play, we also cant handle that."
Rovers travel to Stevenage on Tuesday and Taylor will be hoping for a response from Saturday afternoon's drab display. "The pain of that type of game we can't hide away from, the fact that every time we come up against this type of challenge we fall short and that is a reflection on myself and the group at the moment and it's a painful one and we certainly can't stop it. There was no ball speed, partly because of the pitch, but partly because of confidence within the group. There was no moments of them defending their box, or their goalkeeper making a save, it was the same pattern on Tuesday night."
Saturday's defeat moves Rovers down to 12th in the League One table, meanwhile the visitors climbed to 17th, four points above the relegation zone.