Cambridge United head coach Neil Harris full of praise for Lyle Taylor after impressive debut against Fleetwood Town

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Cambridge United head coach Neil Harris has praised the impact new signing Lyle Taylor made during this afternoon’s 2-1 home win over Fleetwood Town.

The experienced striker, who joined the U’s yesterday after a short spell at Wycombe Wanderers, came off the bench at the Abbey Stadium just before the hour mark with the score at 0-0.

However, Taylor broke the deadlock in the 71st minute and while Fleetwood went on to equalise, it was injury time for the new signing to be turned in at the back post by Sullay Kaikai who grabbed an important three points for the home side.

Lyle Taylor and his new Cambridge United teammates celebrate Sullay Kaikai's winning goal.  Photo: Ben Phillips
Lyle Taylor and his new Cambridge United teammates celebrate Sullay Kaikai’s winning goal. Photo: Ben Phillips

“If you look at debuts, even for someone who is 33 and has spent a lot of his career in the Championship, that was as good a debut as I have ever seen,” Harris said.

“That’s the importance of bringing Lyle in. You’ve seen the documentaries – like Sunderland’s – you’ve seen the transfer windows and how close they come to the line. Getting Lyle ready before midday (yesterday) was a challenge so I have to commend Alex (Tunbridge, CEO) and Ben (Strang, sporting director) for the work they did and that was our reward today.

“The temptation to start with him was there, but it was an up and down week for him. He didn’t have much time on the grass and was really on time with us on the grass.”

Harris was also pleased with the performance of youngster Brandon Njoku, who came off the bench in the 70th minute and played a key role in Taylor’s goal.

He was substituted after Kaikai’s match-winning moment when Harris threw on Zeno Ibsen Rossi and Adam May to provide some extra height – something the boss was keen the up-and-coming forward to understand.

“I gave him a special mention in the boys’ locker room and he got an ovation,” Harris added.

“It’s important that he understands why I took him off the field because he did everything he was asked to do. I just didn’t think he would win a header from a set piece in his own penalty area. That’s ultimately why we did it and it was the right decision.

“He understands that, but his energy, his enthusiasm and his ability to extend the game were very important to use today.”


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