Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Have the Derby Edge

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Have the Derby Edge

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Geordie contingent will be key to win ( Taylor

Steven Taylor is confident Newcastle's strong contingent of Tyneside talent can give United a decisive edge this weekend as the Magpies attempt to win the battle of North-East pride against Sunderland at St James's Park.

And, having experienced the bitter taste of derby defeat from the viewpoint of the fans, the defender is determined to avenge the successive 2-1 home losses the Black Cats inflicted on his black-and-white heroes in 1999 and 2000. There are six players raised on Tyneside in Graeme Souness' squad and, with five of them in with a good chance of starting the club's 125th league fixture against their Wearside rivals, the importance of the occasion will not be lost in the home dressing room.

Taylor, Alan Shearer and Robbie Elliott all seem certain to line up against Mick McCarthy's men on Sunday, while Lee Clark is keen to face his former club and Shola Ameobi is on standby should Michael Owen fail to recover from a tight hamstring.

With Tommy Miller the only native Wearsider likely to be in the visiting team at St James's Park, Taylor believes it could have a major bearing on the outcome.

"It's good for the gaffer to be able to call upon so many Geordie boys, so much local talent, and we're all desperate to play against Sunderland, this is the big one for us," said Taylor, born in Greenwich but raised on Tyneside, on the eve of his long-awaited derby debut.

"We had five Geordie lads in our side at Portsmouth a couple of weeks ago and it was unbelievable. To have that again against Sunderland would be even more special.

"This game means the world to me just as it does all the local lads. These are the games anyone from this area wants to play in, derbies against Sunderland in front of 52,000 at St James's Park. …

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