'Totally understand' - Matt Taylor takes ownership of Bristol Rovers' miserable seven game goal drought after Reading loss

Matt Taylor: Bristol RoversMatt Taylor: Bristol Rovers
Matt Taylor: Bristol Rovers
The Gas were defeated 2-0 at home to Reading on Tuesday evening.

Bristol Rovers boss Matt Taylor says that he, “totally understands” Gasheads’ frustrations, as his side lost 2-0 at home to Reading in League One on Tuesday evening.

Sam Smith opened the scoring inside the first 10 minutes, before Lewis Wing’s emphatic free-kick doubled the visitor’s lead before the interval. In miserable fashion, the Gas have now failed to score in each of their last seven matches.

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“Certainly first-half again we started the game poorly,” said Taylor. “So fragile in terms of our confidence, but also our execution. We weren’t at the speed of the game and too many were off the pace of the game. It still came down to a couple of first contact moments, on a long throw-in and then a long ball, which then lead to the free-kick for the second goal, which we've been so poor at, for so long, it’s disappointing in terms of that.

“Certainly the first 20 minutes of that second-half is exactly what we aim for and what we wanted, one cleared off the line, one good save by the goalkeeper, if one of them goes in, then we build a bit of momentum towards the end of the game, as opposed to still being 2-0 down, chasing it and then losing a little bit of our discipline, both in terms of footballing sense and our bodies and minds.”

Taylor made a triple substitution at the interval in attempt to salvage the game. “You can say tactics, but even when the ball bounces around ourselves and an opposition player, we're not quite there,” said the 42-year-old. “You play on the back foot when your confidence isn't quite there. It then goes into all aspects of the game, because until that second-half period of the 20 minutes, we didn't use the ball well enough in the first-half to take any pressure off us, to allow us to gain any control. It was such a strange feeling as a manager, sometimes in football games you feel like you're in control and in that first-half, like too many times this season, we didn't feel in any control.”

Fans booed around the Mem both at half-time and when the final whistle blew this evening. “It is always hard when you hear people disappointed,” said Taylor. “I totally understand and accept it. I would be the same if I was a supporter of Bristol Rovers at the moment. I just felt that there were too many not where we want them or need them to be and that's myself included at the moment and I've got to find a way of getting what I do put out on the pitch good enough to perform and perform in a certain way where we survive for a little bit longer in a game, as opposed to having to chase which we are constantly having to do.”

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Victory for Reading saw them move to 17th in the table and within two points of Rovers in 16th, although the Royals have played a game extra. The Gas travel to relegation-battling Cheltenham Town on Saturday, where Taylor will hope his side can finally end their goal scoring drought and pick up some much needed points.

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