Defender Taylor sees the positives after Cobblers debut ends in agonising fashion

It was an agonising way for his debut to finish but defender Ash Taylor is hopeful of better times ahead for the Cobblers this season after praising their defensive performance in the 1-0 defeat to Shrewsbury Town.

Tuesday, 8th August 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:23 am
DEBUT DEFEAT: Ash Taylor was one of Town's best performers on Saturday. Pictures: Sharon Lucey

Despite being far from their best in Saturday’s season-opener, Town’s new-look back three restricted Shrewsbury to very few sights of goal throughout the 90 minutes, with Lenell John-Lewis’ injury-time winner one of only three shots on target in the entire game.

Neither goalkeeper was brought into drastic action, much to the encouragement of Taylor, even if the last-gasp defeat left him feeling understandably deflated.

“Defensively I thought we were sound and we were solid throughout the whole game and a clean sheet would have been perfect after the performance we put in,” said the former Aberdeen man.

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Leon Barnett

“To lose such a late goal is very disappointing and something for me personally is hard to take.

“It was a scrappy goal. We didn’t pick up the second ball in the middle of the park and they broke wide and it was a scruffy pulled back cross and a scruffy finish. Dai (Cornell) saw it late and couldn’t do anything about it.

“Not to come away with a clean sheet is very disappointing because the defensive performance was spot on. The shape was good and we covered each other well and Dai hasn’t had much to do apart from a few kicks and catches from corners.”

Taylor was one of seven debutants on Saturday and he feels the fact there were so many few faces on show was one reason for their sluggish performance, something which will be rectified in time.

He added: “You don’t look too much into it until you get to the first 10 or 12 games, especially with our team because we’ve got a lot of new faces and it does take a little bit of time on the training ground and on the field for it to gel.

“But we’re on our way there. As you saw defensively we were sound but unfortunately we conceded so late.

“If we had gone in 0-0 we’d have been talking about the positives defensively. It’s disappointing that we lost but now we’ve got to move forward.

“It’s fine margins. You live and die by them and unfortunately it wasn’t to be on Saturday.”

Leon Barnett

Turning his attention to tonight’s EFL Cup tie at Queens Park Rangers, Taylor is looking forward to pitting his wits against Championship opposition when the Cobblers head to Loftus Road.

“It’s a challenge that we’ll relish,” he continued. “I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be tough opposition but you always raise your game more against better players because they test you and it brings out the best in players, and certainly it brings the best out of me when i come up against better players.”