Shola Ameobi and Steven Taylor

Centre-back Steven Taylor is currently sidelined by a ruptured Achilles, but during his spell on the sidelines is writing an exclusive blog for nufc.co.uk. In his latest instalment, Taylor goes behind the scenes on derby day, gives his views on Newcastle's comeback against Sunderland, and writes of his delight for goalscoring pal Shola Ameobi...

 

What a game it was on Sunday against Sunderland, and it was great to see Shola as the hero yet again.

That's his seventh Tyne-Wear derby goal and I don't know how he does it!

He was ill and hadn't trained on Friday, but he still turned up on matchday, came off the bench and what a difference he made.

They feared Shola's presence, and in just under 20 minutes he won a penalty - which Sunderland's keeper saved well from Demba - and then popped up with equaliser. What a way to score though - in injury-time and in front of the Gallowgate End.

It was an exciting match, especially for the fans, but we weren't at it in the first half. We were poor.

Sunderland controlled the game for the first 40 minutes, but in the final five minutes of the half we came on strong and didn't want the whistle to blow.

The gaffer and JC (John Carver) gave a speech at half-time to rally the lads and get it through to them what the derby game means to this Club.

I think you could see from the second half that it worked, and the introduction of Hatem made a huge difference too.

The adrenaline got through everybody, and there was suddenly determination and belief that we could go on and win the game.

It was pretty much one-way traffic in the second half. We were camped in their half, we thoroughly deserved the draw and were unlucky not to win the game because we had the chances.

For Sunderland it will feel like a defeat because they were one up and let it go at the end. Our fans will be happiest, whereas theirs will be sick in their chips - it's best for us.

Our preparations for the match were slightly different to a normal home game. We met on Sunday morning at Jesmond Dene House Hotel for our pre-match meal, and then headed off to the game on the coach.

It was all about us getting together as a team, travelling together and being a unit. It allowed us to soak up the atmosphere, see all the fans outside waiting for us, and realise what a special occasion a game like this is.

Even though I'm injured at the moment, I was in the party and was up at 7am doing songs for the iPod for the changing room. It was stuff like Chris Brown, David Guetta - songs to get the boys firing.

I got in amongst the changing room, on the bench and got right into the boys, making sure everyone was right up for the game. Hopefully it had an effect and I was more than happy to play any role I could.

As for my recovery from my ruptured Achilles, not a lot has changed since my last blog, but it is still going well.

I'm in the gym and swimming, and as I've said before, it's babysteps at the moment. But I've got to keep patient, keep going and listening to what the medical team tell me to do.

They've got my best interests at heart and I cannot wait to be back out there playing again. Next time we face Sunderland I want to be fit and out there on the pitch.