Breaking News: Matt Taylor reveals latest on Bristol Rovers’ summer plans:

Bristol Rovers are getting set for what is anticipated to be a busy summer.

Bristol Rovers will have a busy summer ahead of them in terms of recruiting, and Matt Taylor has acknowledged that the club is still in the process of making plans.

Rovers have a three-year strategy in place to reach the Championship, and chairman Hussain AlSaeed confirmed that Taylor will have the board’s support heading into the summer transfer market in an open letter to supporters last week.

AlSaeed stated in the letter: “We are dedicated to giving Matt our complete support and the tools he needs to realize this vision. We will collaborate closely with him this summer during the transfer window in order to sign gifted players who are willing to help Bristol Rovers succeed and who share his desire.”

In response to a question about whether talks about the Pirates’ plans for the upcoming transfer window had started, Taylor said, “Yes, but we’re still setting things up so that we can, in theory, spend some money or sign players. We’ve talked about it, and it appears that significant player changes will be necessary, but at this level of football, especially, too significant changes are unachievable.

“Obviously, we all know what we want to accomplish, but the most important thing is knowing how to get there. Hopefully, the board will support us not only financially but also in other ways, giving us the time and resources we need to put the right people in place to handle that part of the project.

“We already have a plan; this is the simple part. It all comes down to how you put together a plan in order to succeed.”

In his letter, the chairman also identified Kamil Conteh who was purchased last month from Grimsby Town for an initial fee believed to be in the region of £300,000 as an example of the “strategic additions” that the club wish to make ahead of the 2024/25 season and beyond. At 21, Conteh’s market value will no doubt rise while at Rovers and the fact that the midfielder signed a three-and-a-half year contract will no doubt put the club in a position to make a healthy profit down the line when he eventually leaves the club.

Though he was the sole permanent signing last month, the Sierra Leone international portends the kind of astute business that can be anticipated come summertime. Taylor is now expected to oversee recruitment, though, as there isn’t a Head of Recruitment or Director of Football in place at the moment.

The Gas manager continued, “We’re quite excited about Conteh. When we were trying to sign and recruit him, we were quite excited about him; after watching the games, we were probably even more excited.

Extremely happy with his performance standards. It was a swift ascent up the pyramid for him as he played League Two football in the first part of this season after playing National League football the previous one.

“He is a modest young man. He’s eager to learn. He wants to improve and step up, and I have no doubt that he will succeed in a forward-thinking team. We’re still enthusiastic about what he can become, and he’s the person we want to center our team around.”

Eighteen players on loan or permanent contracts that expire at the end of the current campaign mean that a sizable percentage of the first team roster will be without a contract this summer. Taylor, who made it clear earlier this month that the process of determining which players will have their contracts extended had started even before his arrival in December, is fully aware that making too many changes too quickly isn’t sustainable.

For players whose futures are uncertain, there are two months and thirteen games left in the current campaign to earn themselves extensions. It is anticipated that at least a few players will have their present contracts extended.

But as Taylor made clear during his news conference after the 3-1 loss to Northampton on Saturday, change does seem likely given the number of problems hindering the Gas’s ability to establish any kind of consistency—not just under the current management but even before his arrival.

“I think they’re capable of a lot more to be honest with you,” the 42-year-old said. “Certainly in terms of their intent to shift around the pitch quicker than we did. But if they’re not the habits and that’s not being valued enough and they’re not capable of doing it often enough in back-to-back games which has been a problem for us then they’ll simply struggle to stay at this football club.

“We have to change. We can’t keep standing here and say the same things. Fans will see it, the league position shows it.

“The constant is how leaky we are, how soft we are, how many goals we concede and then when we do concede goals, how hard we have to work to chase games so we’re certainly giving teams a leg up in relation to that.

“Like I said we have to do a bit more work than what has been happening previously and we’ll quickly get that into them.”

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