Football Article

Steven Taylor: "The boss keeps me grounded and on my toes"

Steven Taylor: "The boss keeps me grounded and on my toes" Photo: TT
October 20, 2019, Sydney, NSW, USA: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 20: Wellington Phoenix defender Steven Taylor (27) looking for options during the round 2 A-League soccer match between Sydney FC and Wellington Phoenix on October 20, 2019 at Leichhardt Oval

Wellington Phoenix central defender Steven Taylor has spoken about how manager Ufuk Talay never lets him get too big for his boots.

Taylor was talking about of the Nix game away to Adelaide United, a fixture that comes after the Kiwi side recorded their first win of the season against Brisbane Roar.

The Geordie dominated the Roar fixture and was instrumental in helping the Phoenix get some points on the board. Steven Taylor scored a goal and cleared one off the line as Robbie Fowler’s team pushed the Yellow and Blacks hard.

But the star defender said Talay never allows him to settle or to believe the hype. “The boss always puts pressure on myself every single training session, hes always on my case. Especially on game day you get the praise but I come in here and get grounded by the manager, which is what you want. He keeps me on my toes.”

Been there, done that

Taylor is one of the most experienced players in the Nix squad. The 33-year-old played the majority of his football with Newcastle United and made 195 Premier League appearances, 267 in total, before leaving for Portland Timbers and the MLS.

Spells at Peterborough United and Ipswich Town followed but Taylor has found a home in Wellington. Hes the captain and plays every game when hes fit.

Adelaide have started well and currently occupy third in the A-League table. Taylor knows itll be a tough place to go and get a result.

“We tried different things last year but theyre very good. Performance wise this season theyve been really good,” he added.

United striker Riley McGree has six goals this season and will be one to watch out for. McGree is capable of scoring excellent goals, which is something Taylor knows all about: “Hes obviously one of their man guys and his second on the weekend was phenomenal.”

But if Taylor can stand up and deliver another skippers performance, thatll count for nothing and the Phoenix will be well placed to win two in a row.

Russell hughes
Sports Pundit staff writer
@rusty_hughes I’m a cricket, rugby union and football writer based in Wellington but with one foot in South Africa and England

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