DERBY hero Ryan Taylor has sounded a rallying cry ahead of Newcastle United’s visit to the Stadium of Light.
Taylor scored the club’s last winning goal against Sunderland three and a half years ago.
If you don’t want to go to Sunderland and play, you shouldn’t be hereRyan Taylor
And the 30-year-old is ready to make his first visit to the Stadium of Light since famously lifting a free-kick over the wall in the August 2011 meeting between the two sides.
United head coach John Carver – whose squad has been decimated by injury and suspension – hopes to have midfielder Mehdi Abeid back for the derby.
But Taylor, in the side which beaten 2-1 by Arsenal at St James’s Park last weekend, says while the club is short on numbers, the team selected to face Sunderland won’t be short of motivation.
“We’ll look to get one or two bodies back, which would be nice,” said Taylor.
“We are a bit short at the minute. We’ve got a few young kids on the bench, and it would be nice to get a few senior players back, but we’ll see where we are.
“We had them (Arsenal) on the back foot for 30 or 40 minutes of that second half, and that’s how we’ve got to be at Sunderland.”
Taylor added: “If you don’t want go to Sunderland and play, you shouldn’t be here.”
Carver has fielded versatile Taylor – who is waiting to hear if he will be offered a new contract with his deal expiring in the summer – in both full-back positions in recent weeks.
Captain Fabricio Coloccini’s three-game suspension for his dismissal at Everton led to another reshuffle against Arsenal.
“That’s the way we are at the minute,” Taylor told Sky Sports. “We’ve got a lot of players missing.
“We lost our leader. A natural right-back (Daryl Janmaat) has to fill in at centre-back. I’ve been playing left-back, and I get switched to right-back.
“It’s just where we are at the minute. We’ve just got to accept it and stick together.
“We look to go to Sunderland now, and we look to go there on how we played in the second half rather than the first half.”
Newcastle conceded two first-half goals against Arsenal – both from set-plays – but stand-in captain Moussa Sissoko pulled a goal back after the break.
Carver’s side pushed hard for an equaliser, and Taylor says he and his team-mates are looking to pick up where they left off against Arsene Wenger’s third-placed side.
“We let ourselves down, especially with the two set-plays in the first half,” said Taylor, who is hoping to earn a new deal after fully recovering from the knee injuries which saw him miss more than two years of football.
“We had to go out, stand tall, be men and get on the ball, that’s what we did.
“It put them on the back foot, but we just couldn’t get on the second goal.”