Taylor: MLS Spell Gave Me Confidence
Monday, 17th Apr 2017 06:00
Town defender Steven Taylor has revealed how a step into the unknown territory of Major League Soccer rekindled his passion for ‘proper’ football.
The experienced defender, released by Newcastle at the end of last season, joined Portland Timbers in October and when he returned to England in January he was signed by Town on a deal through to the end of the season.
Things haven’t worked out as either party wanted, with the player being restricted to just three appearances because of hamstring problems that have ruled him out of all four of the club’s remaining games, although he is set to return in pre-season in an attempt to win a permanent deal.
Taylor said: “What gave me the confidence was going out to America. I didn’t know what to expect out there. It was a totally different lifestyle to what I knew in Newcastle. When I got there and they heard my accent they asked if I came with subtitles.
“The main thing for me after leaving Newcastle was going somewhere and playing regularly. I didn’t want to be in and out of the side. I didn’t know anything about Portland and I was joining them halfway through their season. There was a lot of travelling but I enjoyed it.
“We sometimes had three games a week and we were in the CONCACAF Champions League, which meant going to Costa Rica and El Salvador. It was something new for me, playing against those sides and on artificial pitches in different climates.
“The standard out there is definitely improving and there are players I saw who could come over and play in the Championship. I don’t think it will be long before the Championship teams start going out there to get players. The wingers and the number tens were their best players.
“I didn’t have the normal dressing-room banter and I really missed it. It was the same with the hunger and the fight I was used to in training and win, lose or draw it didn’t mean the same as it does here.
“It’s what I call proper football back here. The gaffer here puts on high intensity sessions in training and it’s what I want.
“You’ve got to be mentally strong for this league and the manager’s old school ways are right up my street. He lets rip at you every single day and gives you an earful all the time. He’s always in your head and it’s good. You want someone on top of you instead of being quiet and not emotive.
“I had that every year at Newcastle and now I’m going to have it every year at Ipswich. I’m looking forward to what the future brings for me down here – it’s exciting and I just want to get cracking really.
“I had to adjust to life in the States and get the games under my belt, and when I came back to England I knew this was the league I wanted to play in. When the gaffer spoke to me and got me down here I had a great chat with him.
“It gave me a boost to play in the Reading game straight after eight days of training. It showed his confidence in me to throw me straight in like that. I owe him a lot.”
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