Steven Taylor can add some much-needed leadership to Ipswich Town side, says Mick McCarthy
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Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has offered Steven Taylor a deal until the end of the season and hopes the experienced defender can add some leadership to his confidence-shot side.
Taylor, who turned 31 on Monday, made more than 200 appearances for Newcastle United – the majority of which were in the Premier League – and recently became a free agent after his contract at MLS side Portland Timbers was prematurely cancelled, by mutual consent, after just five months in America.
“He’s looked very good,” said McCarthy. “He’s a real positive influence about the place, an experienced voice. We had two good training sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday and he got through them both no problems. He looks very fit.
“He organises the back four, he’s a talker and I have to say we need a bit of that. I’ve agreed with him to take him to the end of the season.”
The Blues boss added: “He’s still only 31 and you talk about centre-backs playing until they’re 35/36. I think he’s hungry to get back in and prove to everybody that he can still play at this level at the very least. He was an outstanding centre-back for Newcastle.
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“He’s a leader and that’s something we need in the dressing room. Chambo (Luke Chambers) is the leader of the pack, he’s a great captain and they all call him ‘skip’. We could do with a few more of them though and I think Steven will add to that.”
Taylor’s move will require international clearance, due to his recent spell in the USA, and so he will not be signed in time to play at Preston on Saturday.
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McCarthy also had high praise for new midfield addition Toumani Diagouraga, who is on loan from Leeds until the end of the season.
He said: “I’m hoping that he will make us tougher in the middle of the park. He likes to get forwards and he’s forward-thinking in terms of passing. I think he’ll be a big help to Skusey (Cole Skuse).
“We’ve got other good players, but they are runners and you could find them anywhere. He’s very brave on the ball.”