Ryan Taylor

He was the Tyne-Wear derby matchwinner in August 2011 but while Ryan Taylor won't face Sunderland at the weekend, he is still playing an important role for Newcastle this season.
In extracts from an exclusive nufcTV interview, the Merseysider told DAN KING about his new job scouting the opposition while he recovers from his 14-month injury nightmare.

Although injury meant that he played no part on the pitch, Saturday's draw with Liverpool was achieved thanks in part to midfielder Ryan Taylor.

For the 29-year-old, famous for his free-kick derby winner at Sunderland in August 2011, has been recruited to the Club's scouting team while he recovers from a cruciate ligament injury nightmare which has kept him out of action for more than a year.

Taylor was at Anfield to watch the Reds in action against Crystal Palace before reporting back to Alan Pardew and his staff, and from that information United put together a gameplan which saw them earn a deserved point despite playing more than half the game with ten men.

While the Magpies already had a skilled team of specialist opposition scouts, Pardew felt that Taylor could offer a different viewpoint to Newcastle and so far Taylor has scouted the opposition on three occasions - ahead of home games against West Ham, Fulham and Liverpool - and United are unbeaten in those matches.

Speaking to nufcTV, Taylor explained how he was offered the role shortly after undergoing an operation in Colorado.

"The manager phoned me for an update on the situation and said 'look, I know now is not the time but when you're back on your two feet then I'd like you to be part of the scouting team,'" Taylor said. "I thought about it and it didn't take that long because I knew I'd have a lot of time on my hands. Now that I'm doing it, I'm made up that I chose that.

"It gave me something to look forward to. I'd just come out of theatre and had an operation so I was quite down but the nice words that the gaffer spoke to me, followed by the gesture of the offer - I thank him for that."

Taylor added: "He (Pardew) tells me what team to go and watch; normally it's the team who we play the following week. I sit with the Club scout who goes to the game and we write reports. He writes from a scouting view and I write from a player's view. They're pretty similar but he likes to see if mine's any different.

"I'm there to see if I can see any difference from a player's point of view, and not only that: I get the players coming up to me asking 'how is he' and 'what's his strengths, what's his weaknesses?'

"Tim (Krul) is one - if someone takes free-kicks, did he have any on the day... just little things like that. I'm here to help. It's just about trying to get as much information on the opposition as we can - every little helps."

During the in-depth interview, Taylor also gave an update on his comeback - he is due to go under the surgeon's knife again soon in America before stepping up his recovery - and believes the new string to his bow will help him when he does return to action.

"It gets me watching different games, watching different players, and to be honest I'm watching games in a different way now, because I'm watching it purely on team analysis instead of just going to watch a football match," he said.

"You pay a little bit more attention to things going on. You can look at the back four when the game's going on, or up front, or see how they hold their line, or see what the goalie's position is - just little things like that.

"It gives me a bit more inside information for when I get back because if I'm going up against these players, and I've watched them and I know what they do, then in the future it might help me as well.

"But it doesn't just help me, it helps the team too."

Click here to watch the full nufcTV interview with Ryan Taylor