Taylor praise for Pompey rotation

Ryan Taylor. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ryan Taylor. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ryan Taylor is convinced Andy Awford’s squad rotation has spared him from injury.

Now the striker is waiting to discover whether he survives the latest reshuffle at Yeovil in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tonight.

The 26-year-old’s pre-season was hampered by a groin problem picked up against Ebbsfleet, sidelining him for the final two friendlies.

Having also missed Thurrock to attend a funeral, Taylor’s preparation for the League Two campaign was far from ideal.

Yet Awford has been careful in the utilisation of his main striker, particularly with the ongoing injury absence of Patrick Agyemang.

Taylor was rested for the Capital One Cup visit of Peterborough, while featured as a substitute against Oxford United.

Regardless, he has still started five of the seven matches so far this season heading to Huish Park.

Clearly, Awford is well aware how crucial the former Rotherham man is to his side and the striker is grateful for the protection.

He said: ‘With the amount of games the manager has had this month, he has had to be careful with the players and rest certain ones at certain times.

‘The last thing you want are injuries at this time and I think he has managed the squad very well. Hopefully people will be fresh ready for tonight.

‘It definitely has helped me. If I had been playing in all the games my body might have been in a bit of turmoil.

‘The manager has done well recognising certain people need certain minutes on the pitch and it obviously worked very well at the start of the season.

‘Pre-season is your time to get fit so it is tough when you do miss that and then are behind from the start of the season, but it didn’t seem to affect me that much

‘I’m fine now, I’m fit and ready, obviously if selected tonight I’ll do my best for the club, we’ll see what happens in the next couple of days.

‘I am definitely fit and well for three games in a week.

‘We’ve had a good start and are looking forward to getting back to winning ways and getting that feeling back.

‘We’ve had the two losses now but we’ll be ready to go again tonight.’

Yeovil have picked up one win from their opening five matches so far to lie 19th in League One.

As for Pompey, they have now suffered successive defeats in the form of Stoke in the Capital One Cup and Newport County.

They also have a tough trip to Burton on Sunday, completing a tough run of fixtures in all competitions coming up.

Intriguingly, Peterborough – the team the Blues have beaten in cup competition this season – are topping League One.

Regardless, Huish Park will be another massive test for Awford and a squad which once again is expected to be reshuffled.

Taylor added: ‘It is tough to lose two on the trot, we have got to try to put that to bed now and go again tonight.

‘Obviously, we don’t want to lose three on the bounce.

‘Stoke are a Premier League side who put out Premier League players against us so that was always going to be a tough game, but we are playing a League One side tonight and it will be just as difficult.

‘We are going to have to find a way to break them down to win the game, but as ever will be ready and well-prepared for the game.’