Taylor: Hurts to Miss Out on Facing Newcastle
Monday, 17th Apr 2017 06:15
Steven Taylor will have to sit out Town’s clash with his former club Newcastle today – and he admits it hurts.
Taylor, 31, has been ruled out of all Town’s remaining games this season because of the hamstring injury that forced him off before half-time in the 3-0 win over Wigan at Portman Road almost a fortnight ago (pictured above) and it remains to be seen whether he will be offered a permanent deal to extend his stay in Suffolk.
Since January, when he signed a short-term contract deal through to the end of the current campaign, the experienced defender has been unlucky with injuries and has started only three games, in two of which he was forced off with hamstring problems.
Missing out on today’s clash with his former club forced Taylor to admit: “It’s the one game that does hurt. It’s the fixture I looked for when I first signed for Ipswich. I’ll have friends in the Newcastle team and among their supporters so it will be a difficult one to watch. We need the points and it’s going to be a big game.
“I’ve spoken to the manager and the fitness guys about my hamstring injuries but when you don’t have a pre-season unfortunately that’s what happens.
“I left the MLS in October and came here in January and trained for eight days. I was going into the thick of things without the pre-season training behind me. It’s a difficult one to take and I’m just trying to carry on and get on with it.”
Taylor’s future is uncertain, although he has been invited back in pre-season, and not only does he intend to accept the offer, he also sounds confident of doing enough to earn a permanent contract.
He added: “The gaffer has been spot-on with that, along with everybody behind closed doors. The boys as well, they all make me feel at home here. I’d love to be able to stay here. It’s the perfect set-up and I’m 100 per cent keen to stay.
“When I’ve played I’ve enjoyed it but I’m just disappointed with what happened in the Wigan game and not being able to carry on. But we were 2-0 up and it was the right time to come off.
“I’ve dealt with injuries from an early age, never giving up and staying positive. I’ve seen too many people in the past who get injured and sulk. But I’ve never been a sulker and I do my own routines to get through it.”
Taylor joined Newcastle when he was 16 and was released last summer after they were relegated from the Premier League. He clocked up 268 appearances, scored 15 goals, won 29 England U21 caps, one B international cap and earned two senior call-ups without being called upon to play.
He added: “I’ve still got a few years left in the game. I’m not even thinking about life after playing. I’m enjoying my football and the play-offs are my target next season.”
But if he does sign for Town he admits he is unlikely to be facing his former club next season. He is convinced they are going up, adding: “They are the best team in the league – you just have to look at their squad and the management.
“They deserve to be back in the Premier League and for me they have been the most consistent side this season. They have been making it a bit tough for themselves lately but they will be there or thereabouts and I hope they don’t do it when we play them.”
Taylor played his part in the Geordies’ last promotion back to the top flight, scoring once in 21 league appearances. That was in 2010 when Chris Hughton’s team amassed 102 points and Taylor said: “I think we had the record and there was a lot of talk about the current team trying to beat it.
“But they can’t do it now. We had a special team then but the next season was always the difficult one because we had to survive. That was the main focus and it will be the same for the current team if they do go up.”
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