‘We’re massively disappointed... It makes the manager’s decision easier’ – Taylor on Cambridge friendly loss
Ipswich Town assistant manager Stuart Taylor said he was ‘massively disappointed’ with the team’s performance in today’s 1-0 friendly defeat at League Two side Cambridge United.
Former Blues player Paul Digby scored the only goal of the game in the 56th minute after the hosts broke from an Ipswich corner.
James Norwood headed against the post in the second half, but that was it in terms of meaningful goalscoring chances for a Town team that didn’t possess much of an attacking edge.
“We’re massively disappointed,” said Taylor. “There has been a lot of good stuff in training and in the previous game, but none of that was taken into today’s game unfortunately.
“It was disappointing in all aspects and maybe makes the manager’s decision that bit easier going into the season.
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“Do you put it down to being one bad day at the office? Or are there other reasons and other factors to that?
“Certainly there were a lot of words said both at half-time and after the game that the standard wasn’t anywhere near what they are capable of.
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“I saw a little reaction at the start of the second half, that second half was better, but the intensity of the game was not there. The tempo, the style of play we want to go about wasn’t there either. That’s both in possession and out of possession as well.
“The lads did try and play, we just didn’t move it quick enough and therefore we couldn’t open up their defensive lines.
“The manager has got a team to pick. And a lot of it will be judged on the feel of the pre-season and today was certainly disappointing.”
Summer signing Oli Hawkins made his first appearance in a Town shirt, playing the first half.
“I thought he did very well,” said Taylor. “He gave us that presence that we’ve probably missed in terms of flick-ons and being that presence in both boxes. In training he’s been finishing very, very well.
“We got into wider areas today but that final ball into the box for him to attack wasn’t good enough.
“I think he just gives us the option of a different style if play. In terms of getting it into him it may be a 50 yard pass, but it is a pass, not a lump forward. It’s not direct. Sometimes you have to be patient and probe.
“He’s a big lump of a boy, very strong, and he’s got a good touch as well. Hopefully we can wrap it into is feet and have runners off him.”
James Norwood replaced Hawkins at the break, sending a diving header against the base of the post.
“He’s been out for near enough a year, as has Kane (Vincent-Young), and the two of them were missed massively last season,” said Taylor.
“Nors started last season on fire, scored lots of goals, but towards the end was playing through injuries. He went and got operated, got fixed, and now it’s a case of building him back up. That does take time. We’ve got to make sure he doesn’t get re-injured. We’ll keep working on him and making sure he can get back to his lively self.”
Delivering an injury update on others, Taylor said: “Kayden Jackson had a little groin injury. Just by kicking a ball he had a little tweak, he played through it and he was still feeling the pain. He had a scan done and is probably going to be out another couple of days to a week.
“Cole Skuse just had a little tweak during the week. He just slipped a bit and opened up his knee. It was a close call today whether he played or not, but the manager took the decision he was better off missing today. He’ll train at the start of next week.
“Kane Vincent-Young is just feeling his Achilles. He’s been out a year out and is training on hard ground. Hopefully he’ll be back training in the next few days.
“Myles Kenlock had a tight thigh. Again, it was just as precaution pulling him out today.
“Gwion (Edwards) felt his groin a little bit and, again, it’s just a precaution. We’re just aware of bringing lads back a little bit too early from these sort of things after so long out. We’re just giving them the extra days to recover.
“Janoi (Donacien) had to play again today because we didn’t have another right-back and he’s picked up a little knock. Hopefully he’ll be fine for the next few days.”