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Matthew Taylor Reacts to Playing in Front of the Walsall Faithful

Walsall's Matthew Taylor has spoken about his emotions as the Saddlers faced Aston Villa.
Matthew Taylor - © Jenny Merrett.
Saddlers boss Matthew Taylor has discussed how it felt to lead his team out in front of a bumper crowd on Wednesday evening, and admitted the hairs stood up on the back of his net as he took is side into battle.

Taking on Dean Smith's Aston Villa in front of over 6,500 fans at a sun-drenched Banks's Stadium, the manager believes there is plenty to take from the game, despite a disappointing, four-nil, defeat.

Although former Saddlers defender and manager Smith was ultimately forced to miss the game due to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, Taylor still got to take on a former Walsall man in the shape of Craig Shakespeare.

With just a few weeks remaining before Walsall begin their 2021/22 campaign, the gaffer is keen to make the most of any and every opportunity to improve, with the boss going on to praise Villa for their dominant display.

Speaking to Express & Star reporter Matt Maher, Taylor said; "When you walk out, like I did for the first time, and see fans back in a football stadium, it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
 
"From that perspective, it was excellent. It was brilliant for the players to be exposed to that.
 
"Emotionally, it will have been a long time since they have played in front of a crowd like that. In terms of the game, I thought Villa were excellent.
 
"For us, it gave us an opportunity to spend long periods of the game out of possession. There are areas we need to improve on, but let’s be frank, this is our second pre-season game.
 
"I am not bitterly disappointed. We have conceded four goals and the players are quite down about that. But Villa were excellent."
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