By Rob Cornell
Lyle Taylor has reflected on suffering a career low point last month to celebrating his first competitive hat-trick for Wimbledon.
The fans' favourite found life hard, after failing to convert from the spot against Milton Keynes, but banished the feeling with a stunning hat-trick against Rotherham. Not only did he secure three more vital points, but it was Lyle's first competitive hat-trick for the Dons and the club's first treble in the Football League.
"I've never, ever, felt lower than I did after the game against them," said Lyle in an extensive, seven-minute interview to our iFollow Dons channel.
"After missing that penalty, I genuinely, genuinely went home and didn't really want to see another ball again for a long, long, time. That was quite tough because that's not really like me to be affected like that. It wasn't the affect on me, it was the affect on everybody out there – that I'd let everybody down.
"That's tough because no one individual can let a football club down, but I'd took it upon myself to take that penalty and that was honestly one of the lowest points of my career. That's tough, but the fans have always stuck with me. They always have and they always will."
A clip from the interview is available by clicking on the link below to our official club YouTube channel.
Lyle ended a difficult scoring drought in his career in spectacular fashion, for his first goals since the 3-1 win over Rochdale at the end of March.
"It's a nice feeling. It's nice after six and half months to actually score a goal – let alone three! It's kind of poetic really. My first appearance for this club in a pre-season friendly (against Basingstoke Town) was a hat-trick and when we needed a performance and some goals it was my turn. I'm lucky enough to be sat here now with the match ball and three goals under my belt and three points.
"It's been an incredible effort by the team. You could see how hard everybody is running and working – we are doing all we can. I think the gaffer is right, I don't think – aside from the Oxford game – we've been bad. We've just not put everything together.
"We've defended well and lost and drawn, but we've not been scoring goals. It seemed tonight that everything just clicked for us – under the lights, at home, noisy crowd and we've beaten one of the better teams in this league. It's no small feat and I'm proud of the boys and the support we got from the fans."
His second goal caught the eye and was a superb individual finish, but Lyle was keen to focus on the first and give credit to team-mate Andy Barcham.
"With the first goal there was a time late on on Saturday when Barchy got the ball and was running at the defenders and he didn't really know what I wanted. I spoke to him after the game and I said 'when you get there, just slide it anywhere and I'll do what I can to make the ball a good ball'.
"When he did it, I wasn't really expecting him to slide it, if I'm honest! I was expecting him to pick it up and run with it and he put it through so quickly that I didn't have time to think as the goalie was coming out. It's a nice finish that feels quite natural to me.
"It was one of those which I didn't have to think about it, which is good because when you've gone so long without a goal you tend to think and over analyze and it becomes unnatural. It's made by the pass.
"I think six to eight months ago, I wouldn't have been able to do that because the pitch would have been bobbly and horrible. I thank the staff, ground staff and everybody out there tending the pitch as well.
"It's tough, because we've played a certain way. We've had the players to do that in Bayo, Tom and Ty. It's different now because we haven't physically got the 'monsters' we had. It's going to take time and I'm not going to sit here and say it's fixed by no means.
"We're going to face some really difficult challenges in the weeks and months ahead, but I think we should take the victories and the confidence that comes from it bit by bit and we should build together – us, the management and the fans."
The full interview with Lyle Taylor is available to subscribers of our premium iFollow Dons channel, along with extended highlights of the 3-1 victory over Rotherham and the thoughts of manager Neal Ardley.