Steven Taylor

Firstly, let me start by apologising for leaving it so long since my last blog.

Having ruptured my Achilles against Chelsea back at the start of December, and undergoing surgery on it, I have been putting all my efforts into getting fit again.

I have neglected the blog and for that I'm sorry!

To give you an update on my fitness, I was wearing a protective boot for a while, but that came off at the end of January and it was the best feeling ever. The only problem is that I've got chicken legs now, so I need to sort them out and get them filled out!

But seriously it makes me now feel like I'm getting somewhere and I'm delighted with that. I'm getting back in the gym, back in the swing of things and I'm working hard again.

I wasn't able to do too much with the boot on - I had to be careful. But I'm getting more confident now and I know I'm in safe hands with the medical team here. I've just got to take it one step at a time.

At the moment I'm doing a lot of work on the movement of my ankle to try and strengthen it up and the muscles all around it. It's going to take time and it's baby steps but I realise that and will stay patient.

I'm in the training ground every single day, sometimes twice a day, and that's what I need.

I've missed it. You do miss it, and it's not nice when you spend your days lazing around the house, you can only lie there and rest your leg and watch daytime television - and that's made me go even more grey than I was before!

But it's nice to see the lads every day and have a bit of banter because missing that was hurting me a lot. Getting back into the training ground and being in the gym is what I want to be doing and it feels good.

We've got a massive couple of weeks coming up with home games against Wolves this Saturday and then Sunderland the following weekend.

For me, there's no bigger game than the Tyne-Wear derby. Sunderland are on a fantastic run of form at the moment with a new manager, but from my experience when you come into these derby games form goes right out of the window.

I don't care how well we play or how poor we play as long as we get the result, and I think the fans are like that as well. We all want to be winners and they want to celebrate all week at work and have bragging rights over any Sunderland mates they may have!

We've got a few players who may not know too much about the derby, and if they want some advice then I am more than happy to help. I will tell them to just play their normal game and don't get caught up in the atmosphere, because sometimes you can do.

But from our perspective, if we play how we can do then I think we might have too much for them. Going forward, ability-wise and with what we've got, we are very strong.

Whatever happens, it promises to be a cracker and I will be sat in the stands kicking and heading every ball, wishing I was out there.

Thanks for reading, and I will be blogging again soon!