Bristol Rovers’ new manager Matt Taylor has demanded more from his players after losing his first game in charge of the League One club.
The Gas were knocked out of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy on Tuesday night by League Two side Crawley Town, and they certainly had their fair share of chances.
It was not the start that Taylor wanted in his first game in charge of Bristol Rovers, losing 2-1 on the road, however he had very little time with the players having only taken the position last Friday.
Tuesday’s tie marked a new era for the club, and although they may have been defeated, there were a few positives to take from the game . Smith’s side took the lead in the first half through a Luke Thomas strike and created plenty of chances throughout their game.
However although there were positives associated with the side’s chance creation, the execution was somewhat lacking. Rovers were wasteful in front of goal, having 23 shots with nine of those on target, yet only one finding its way past Corey Adaii in the Crawley goal.
That wastefulness in front of goal would come back to bite them, with the hosts scoring twice in the second half. To Crawley’s credit, they were in the game from the off and posed the Gas plenty of problems, however Rovers fans will be disappointed with the result and would’ve expected the side to progress through to the next round
Taylor’s disappointment with the opportunities missed in front of goal was evident in his post-match interview with the Bristol Post.
‘Twenty shots, majority of those in the first half and we’re only one-nil up. We missed too many opportunities in that first half period and then lost control in the second half. We went ragged with our play, couldn’t cover the space and gave them an opportunity to come back into the game and they certainly took it.
“I was pleased we had something to show for that first half performance because you can’t create that amount of chances and not be playing well. Full credit in relation to that.
“But then you have to be more than one ahead and understand what gives them a way back into the game and that’s just doing the basics of each position on that football pitch.”
“I don’t want it to be a reoccurring theme that this team misses too many chances. We created some fantastic opportunities but couldn’t convert them. The consequence is that we’ve lost the game tonight.”
It is a disappointing start for Taylor, however hardly any of the blame can be put on the manager. The stats show just how poor Rovers were in front of goal and they were deservedly punished.
The players should improve under the former Rotherham boss with time, and they’ll need to if they want to escape mediocrity this season. Taylor’s first home match in charge comes this Saturday against Cheltenham in what is a must-win game for the new man given Cheltenham’s league position.