Taylor pledges future to Brum
Paddy Davitt Birmingham defender Martin Taylor has pledged his future to the Premiership strugglers - dashing Norwich chief Glenn Roeder's hopes of a £1m summer raid.
Birmingham defender Martin Taylor today pledged his future to the Premiership strugglers - dashing Norwich chief Glenn Roeder's hopes of a £1m summer raid.
The Canaries' improved bid for Taylor was turned down in the January transfer window following a successful Carrow Road loan spell earlier in the season.
Taylor was brought back in from the cold by St Andrews' boss Alex McLeish for his first Premiership league start of the campaign in the 1-1 weekend home draw with Derby.
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The powerful centre half - who only signed a new three-year contract last May - now aims to force his way into McLeish's long term plans after initially being told he was free to go.
“Am I expecting to move on or do I want to stay here? Of course, I want to stay here,” said Taylor. “I need to play football. You cannot be sitting on the sidelines all season. That is one of the reasons why I went to Norwich in the first place and it did me good. It got me first team games at a good standard and I'm glad I did that. I might have been a bit more rusty against Derby if I hadn't done that. I am contracted to Birmingham, I enjoy being here and I just want to stay in the side.”
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Taylor turned down a proposed switch to City's Championship rivals QPR before Christmas - but the 28-year-old admitted he was surprised to earn a reprieve.
“Obviously football is a funny game and whilst I was training at Birmingham, I was always in and around the first team,” he said. “All I could do was show what I was capable of in training and reserve games. With Rahdi Jaidi going away to the African Nations, there are less centre halves here. I just wanted to show the manager what I could do. I've now got a chance and hopefully I can stay in the team for a bit and show what I can do.”
McLeish challenged Taylor to build on his encouraging display against the Rams.
“Martin had a good game against Derby and I said if I couldn't get the centre half I wanted, I would keep Tiny,” he said. “He has trained with us, he has never been out of our plans. We have always kept him involved. When I came in I thought it was maybe time for him to move on if I got the centre half I wanted. “I thought at his age, he should keep playing rather than being third or fourth choice and it was only a business decision but we didn't get that man and Tiny has come in and showed all his good experience on Saturday. He has certainly got the experience and he showed it against two quick forwards and I don't think he put a foot wrong.”
Taylor is convinced he can help Blues' secure their top flight status after McLeish's side dropped into the relegation zone at the weekend.
“There are still six or seven teams down there with us and it is very tight so a couple of wins could see us move up considerably in the table,” he said. “We have enough quality players in this squad. It is just a matter of putting a decent run together. Saturday's result was a big disappointment and it felt like a defeat to concede so late on. But there are 13 games to go and we know what we need to do, starting at West Ham.”