Taylor Faces Tough Battle To Prove Himself Worthy!
Steven Taylor has had almost 10 months on the sidelines - but he's finally closing in on a return to action - but will he get a game?. Let's not forget - he is STILL on the transfer-list - and nothing he has done or said in recent months has made him warm to Chris Hughton's heart. Firstly, he has said all the right things himself - "I want to stay, sign a new deal, etc." - but his agent continues to push for a transfer (and himself a wad of dosh) and Hughton (if you believe the rumours) is making plans without the former England under-21 skipper. Mike Ashley sees Taylor as 'money in the bank', it's only a case of how much we get for him, because there was no rush of cash on the table when Hughton put him on the transfer list. I'm sure Taylor's agent was rubbing his hands - the prospect of Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea fighting over a deal - but no-one gave a jot! But if he is to get a move, he knows he will have to get past Williamson, Coloccini and Campbell to get into the team and show that he is worth a gamble. And to be honest with you, the number of injuries he's had recently (apart from the smack in the gob from Andy Carroll) show that he WOULD be a gamble! Steven Taylor: "Words can't describe the frustration – this has been torture for me. "It's been a long road, and it'll be emotional for me to come back and play at St James's Park, but I'll relish that chance. "I can't wait to get out there. I've had so much frustration with this injury. I can't wait to get back out in front of 52,000 fans at St James's Park. "I'm not great at watching games – you feel like a nobody. If you're a footballer, you need to be playing on that pitch. I've got to get back fit, and get on the pitch. It's my job. "People wrote us off before the start of the season, but the lads have been fantastic – they've been proving them wrong. "The atmosphere around the place is fantastic, and the spirit's high. I just want to get out there and help the team. "When I get back fit, I'll be in contention. "I've got a lot of respect for Chris for giving me that opportunity. "To have him and my team-mates 100 per cent behind me is all I've asked for. Everyone at the club has been brilliant, and I've got to thank the medical staff for their help. "I'm raring to go, and just looking to pull on that No27 shirt again." "I spent all summer training. "I took my personal trainer with me on holiday to LA – I was grafting every day. "I came back feeling fit, and was in the best condition of my career. I was feeling great going into the Carlisle game, but I fell on my shoulder. It was a freak injury. "I just knew I had to get on with it as quick as I could. Touch wood, it's sorted, and I've just got to make sure my whole body's raring to go. It's the opposite shoulder to five years ago – I dislocated my left one at Carlisle. I had a chipped bone and ligament damage. "After the operation, I couldn't believe how much movement I had. I've got more movement in my left than right one now. "I've been running every day, and I've been in the gym. (Physio) Derek Wright's been with me all the time, and I've started to do stuff with the fitness guys as well. "I'll probably train with the reserves, and I might be back in contention by the end of the month. "I'm absolutely dying to get back."
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