Connect with us

English Football League

Shrewsbury appoint experienced former Premier League and EFL player turned head coach

Shrewsbury Town appoint experienced former Premier League and EFL player turned head coach Matt Taylor as their new boss.

The 41 year old comes in to replace to Steve Cotterill, with Salopcast and Ollie Westbury of Shropshire Star claiming that he was to be named on Monday.

Cotterill left by mutual consent with a director of football Micky Moore brought in, with the plan to keep the 3-5-2 formation and not change too much from what Cotterill built last season.

After reportedly being turned down by Celtic first-team coach Gavin Strachan, Shrewsbury have instead opted for Matt Taylor.


Shrewsbury Town are delighted to confirm the appointment of Matt Taylor as our new head coach.

The 41-year-old joins us following an extensive recruitment process led by our director of football, Micky Moore.

Matt enjoyed a glittering playing career that saw him make more than 300 appearances in the Premier League during spells with Portsmouth, Bolton, West Ham and Burnley.

He also enjoyed successful stints in the EFL with Luton, Northampton and Swindon.

A UEFA Pro License coach, Matt began his journey into management while still a player with the former wing-back spending time with Luton’s under-16s while he was playing for West Ham.

After hanging up his boots, he enjoyed two years working in the coaching set-up at Tottenham before joining Walsall as head coach in 2021.

“I’m delighted,” Matt said when asked how it feels to be our head coach.

“I think when you come to the stadium, when you look at the infrastructure behind the football club – there is nothing (I feel) other than a burning desire and excitement.

“I’m very aware the football club has a successful playing style – something that has worked when you look at the finish last season. I think it was the second-highest finish for 34 years.

“So there is a lot that is going right at the football club. So, what do I want to bring?

“I hope to allow the players to really express themselves. There are some exceptional footballers here and part of my role is to give them a platform and a structure so they can go and express themselves and entertain our loyal supporters.

“If I look back at my career and what made me successful – it was hard work and energy.

“The things that are non-negotiable for me will be that the players have to give everything whenever they put the shirt on. That’s the least the fans deserve.

“I think you accept mistakes as a football fan, I do when I watch it.

“But what is imperative is that every time a player goes onto the pitch wearing a Shrewsbury Town shirt – they have to go and give everything they have got. That is a minimum requirement and I’m sure the players will do that.

“I think what’s important now is that everyone understands just how hungry I am for this opportunity.

“I am also very grateful to be given this opportunity at such a wonderful football club.

“Micky and I want an environment where we create players who can receive the ball under pressure, who are able to twist and turn, but also understand that it’s all under-pinned by what you do out of possession.”

Director of football Micky Moore added: “We went through a thorough process. I said right at the beginning that I needed time.

“I met quite a few candidates for a coffee, had a lot of telephone conversations with people, and obviously then brought the number down to be interviewed.

“We interviewed five and then we got down to the last two and Matt fit the criteria we set out right at the very beginning.

“I think from the moment I walked in, from what I’ve said I said our head coach will look like, Matty fitted that script and I’m very excited to have him on board.”

He won just nine of his 36 games in charge and now leaves with the Saddlers 21st in the table, four points above the relegation places.

“We have lost seven games on the bounce,” said Walsall chairman Leigh Pomlett as per BBC Sport. “That is not acceptable to me, the club or the supporters. We are not where I wanted us to be at all.

“After we beat Colchester I thought we were heading in the right direction. It has come as a real shock and disappointment to me that we have lost seven games on the bounce. The frustration of the fans is fully understood.

Following a 1-0 defeat at then-bottom side Scunthorpe, Taylor told BBC Radio WM in his last interview that the side were at “a real low point”.

Since picking up a 1-0 victory at Port Vale in November, a win which left Walsall 11th in the table and only five points off a play-off place, Taylor won just one of his last 13 games in charge.

The Saddlers ended up appointing Michael Flynn, and finished 16th with 54 points.

Mat Sadler replaced him in May 2023 after Flynn’s side ended the 2022/23 season sitting 16th with 55 points.

Here’s what fans had to say as Shrewsbury appoint experienced former Premier League and EFL player turned head coach Matt Taylor…

@41Howler: Whoever it is, let’s just give him a bloody chance..!!

@DTNFIRE: Let him get in the players he wants and he could do well. He was played around with at Walsall especially with the director of football.

@PerStener: From what I’ve seen he’s used the time away from managing to build experience by visiting other clubs and managers to gain knowledge. I think he’s a better manager now. Will be interesting to follow his progress.

@2clubs1love: Very happy if true. People need to engage their brain for a minute and put the Walsall thing aside. We’ve had many a player play for rivals come and go. If he comes in and is supported with a proper structure in place who’s to say he can’t be a huge success? Let’s embrace change

@LukeEllisPUP: Absolute legend, will have no doubt learnt from his time coaching/managing at Spurs and Walsall. Also an ex pro so will be respected by players. Could be an excellent appointment.

@mattyadders: I believe he was in the running for the Cheltenham job 12 months ago. Didn’t do very good at Walsall though.

@Mark_Lynch1: interesting. i did hear good things about him as a spurs under 18 coach, but then the walsall move didn’t work out obviously

@Robert82_86: Oh balls. I will back him, but I can’t say I’m not concerned.

@Anthony13782050: How very underwhelming….

@MichaelOShore: Not sure what his Spurs U18 record was but 25% win rate at Walsall in League Two is poor. Will give the man a chance and we should be careful not to write him off if the rumour is true but for most this will be a very underwhelming appointment and a step backwards from SC. 🔷🔶

@ALSKIEGRIFF: The second Head Coach will be announced in November

@Sheldon444: Abject failure at Walsall. Nice guy.

@robin_ato: Decent appointment if correct. To say his hands were tied at Walsall is an understatement

@Saddlers1977: Thrown in at the deep end at Walsall, given a shocking DOF to work with and the assistant wasn’t much help. As long as he’s got a decent team around him and has some backing , it could be a good appointment for you guys.

@benjenkers: Oh boy, this could get worse before it gets better folks 🙄

@Chris_Pearsall: Failed at walsall but good enough for league 1 Shrewsbury, fucking sound🤣🤣

@markyt86: MM is clearly a fan! Was one of the favourites to take over at Cheltenham when Duff left

@AnalysisShrews: People will doubtless crab him for his Walsall spell, but I trust in MM and his decisions. As other have said, Walsall have struggled regardless of who the manager has been of late, and MM’s process has clearly been thorough and detailed. Let’s hope my trust isn’t mislaid! #salop

@daleskitt: John Askey was on the receiving end of ‘You don’t know what you’re doing!’ chants on only his second home game, hopefully the new man in charge will take a little longer to receive that compliment! Can’t say I’m blown away by this if true though.

@Chris_Pearsall: Waiting 2 weeks for that fucking joke of an appointment, what an embarrassing club

@willthomas67: Uninspiring but experienced 🤷🏻‍♂️

@robert0wfc: @RequestABet Shrewsbury Town to finish rock bottom

@Jake__Kimberley: That’s them relegated then if they’re going to appoint one of our old gaffers.

@tom_Salop: Let’s actually get behind him. Matty Taylor’s barmy army x

@Ali_Mac90: Was expecting him to get another job at some point & be a success at it but wasn’t expecting it to be jumping over us to League 1. All the best to him!

@RuytonShrew: If this proves true then lots will complain and point to his struggles at Walsall. However, we need to give him a chance. For a starters, plenty have struggled at Walsall in recent times – the likes of Darrell Clarke and Michael Flynn. There have clearly been deeper issues there. No-one should be defined by their first job. Rob Edwards had a tough old time at Telford in his first management job, yet in the coming season he’ll be a Premier League manager at Luton. Micky Moore has clearly run a very thorough process. If Matt Taylor is the choice, then I am happy to trust that he has demonstrated a clear plan for how to take us forward and progress. I’d rather an appointment like this than a manager who has been around the block several times and failed as often as succeeded. Taylor has an impressive playing CV too. Our players will likely respect him and listen. He deserves our support and encouragement. #Salop 🔷🔶

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in English Football League