Ryan Taylor is determined to repay his manager’s faith in him – even though he has been on the receiving end of a few of his harsh words this season.
The Pompey striker netted a morale-boosting goal in the 6-2 win over Cambridge United on Saturday – and also laid one on for hat-trick hero Matt Tubbs – as he led the line in impressive style again.
Taylor does a lot of the unseen work up front and he will be looking to continue his developing partnership with Tubbs in tonight’s home clash with Tranmere (7.45pm).
But the former Bristol City man has also been the subject of criticism at times from fans this season over his goals return, while his own manager has had his say on aspects of his game.
Taylor said: ‘It feels like the manager has always had confidence in me and it definitely helps.
‘And when things weren’t going right this season, he has shown faith in me.
‘Hopefully, I can repay him for that faith.
‘On the training ground every day we will be working on things he thinks I can do better.
‘Every player responds to positive encouragement but if you are not doing what you should be doing, you sometimes need that kick up the backside as well.
‘So I think you need a bit of both and you need that balance.
‘I’ve had it where the manager has had a go at me but I think everyone has had it at some point this season – I’m certainly not the only one!
‘Sometimes we all need a bit of an arm round the shoulder, but that can’t be all the time.’
It has been a lean season in front of goal for Taylor so far, with just four goals to his name, and the striker admitted he needed one with a poked finish at the Abbey Stadium.
‘Even when we were 4-2 up, I thought: “I want to get myself a goal here”,’ said Taylor.
‘When your strike partner ends up getting three goals, Jed (Wallace) gets one and even Robbo (Paul Robinson) chips in, I knew I needed one.
‘As I was walking out afterwards, a fan said to me: “We were trying to blow the ball over the line because we didn’t think it was going to go in”.
‘It was a bit of a scrappy goal again and it just got over the line, but I don’t mind that. I need to build on it now.’
Taylor is also looking for the team’s consistency to continue as they search for a third straight win.
He added: ‘It’s all about doing it in every game, not just a one-off.
‘For a few weeks it has seemed like the performances have been getting better and things have been clicking.
‘It all came together at Cambridge.
‘But I think we’ve all seen that every team can beat every other team in this division, and Tranmere beat the team at the top of the table at the weekend.
‘We will go into this game with massive confidence and we will be looking to keep the run going.’