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Ryan's Holding Out For A New Hero

NUFC Logo Newcastle United FC

Ryan Taylor was last season's derby hero - and now the injured star is hoping one of his team-mates will take on that mantle

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Last season's Tyne-Wear derby hero Ryan Taylor hopes somebody else in a black and white shirt will write their name into Newcastle United folklore on Sunday, just as he did with his free-kick which sailed over the wall and into the net at the Stadium of Light 14 months ago.

A knee injury which is set to keep the Merseysider out for the rest of the campaign means Taylor won't play any part in this year's rematch on Wearside, but he will nonetheless return to the scene of his famous strike this weekend.

The crucial goal in last term's 1-0 success was a pivotal moment in his St. James' Park career as he became a fans' favourite overnight, and the 28-year-old is now rooting for one of his team-mates to take on that mantle and win the game for the Magpies.

"You'd love to see someone who's in the same boots as I was score the winner," the former Wigan man said as he spoke exclusively to nufc.co.uk on the eve of the derby.

"There's a couple of lads - I won't name them or put pressure on them but I'd love to see one or two of the boys score the winner and make themselves a hero too."

That free-kick made Taylor a hero with the Toon Army, but he's always been extremely popular in the United dressing room.

And although he's ruled out of the big match, Taylor will travel to the Stadium of Light with his team-mates before cheering them on from the stands.

"As soon as I got injured, I spoke with the gaffer and pin-pointed a few games to go to - the European away trips as well as this one on Sunday," he explained.

"So I'll be lucky enough to go with the boys on the coach and feel the atmosphere.

"And hopefully it'll be just as memorable as last year but without playing."

Taylor's knows exactly what the match means to the supporters from both sides, and he's sensed a mood of real excitement amongst the team in the build-up to the fixture.

"I suppose the pressure's off when you go away from home because obviously we're the away team," he said. "When I say the pressure's off, obviously there's still a lot of pressure to go and not lose these games but all the pressure's on them.

"And I'm sure with all the firepower we've got, we can go there and get something whether it be one or even three points.

"All the lads seem to be buzzing this week. The international lads have came back and obviously I'm not watching them train but from what I'm going on, training's good.

"Everyone wants to play but there's going to be a few disappointed faces. But the lads will pick those people up and you never know - someone could come off the bench and score the winner.

"It's a funny old game but everyone's looking forward to it just as much as me."

Click here to buy a Newcastle United shirt with Taylor's name and number on the back