Striker honoured to be a Blues grafter

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

Ryan Taylor savaged Dagenham & Redbridge’s defence and promised: I’ll keep on grafting.

The Pompey striker epitomised his team’s ferocious play as they put the Daggers to the sword with a thumping 4-1 win on Saturday.

Taylor set the tone for a powerful opening from Andy Awford’s men.

He bullied a shell-shocked home defence.

The 25-year-old’s work-rate was again key in Awford’s 4-2-3-1 formation.

Taylor knows the importance of his role up front in that system – and it’s a job he’s honoured to do.

He said: ‘It’s a hard shift playing up there on your own.

‘It’s a big job but one I’m very happy to do.

‘I’m very proud to be playing for Portsmouth Football Club in that role. It’s a massive club.

‘But as long we all work hard we will get results. That’s what happened.

‘It was a team performance.

‘In the first 20 minutes we were different class.

‘We were pressing them and they were looking around as if to say: “We can’t believe these are where they are in the league”.

‘We took them by surprise, got the goal and really stamped our authority on the game.

‘I’m playing with a smile on my face and enjoying it.

‘Their defenders were a bit bigger than me. So for me to be knocking them around wasn’t too bad.

‘If I can keep doing things right I can crack on to the end of the season and then push on from there.’

Pompey continued to execute the high-tempo openings at Victoria Road which have been the hallmark of Awford’s tenure as manager to date.

They had already hit the post before Danny Hollands opened the scoring after four minutes.

They went on to hit the woodwork again, have a shot cleared off the line and waste a three-on-one chance in a dominant first half display.

Taylor said: ‘We were told to get into them in their half of the pitch and shock them in the first 10 minutes.

‘We did that, it was a great performance and it’s a happy dressing room for us at the moment.

‘I think the work rate was brilliant in the first 10 minutes.

‘That got the fans on our side and that makes a massive difference.

‘The boys are running their socks off and the fans got behind that.

‘They looked like they were enjoying themselves as much as we were.

‘Hopefully if we keep doing things right we can get a few results and get safe.

‘Then we can push on again next season.’

– JORDAN CROSS