Pre Boro: Steven Taylor
Having been battling an ankle injury for the last few games on the sidelines, Steven Taylor looks set to make a return to the side on Monday, hopefully in place of Calamity Coloccini. Speaking to the News of the World, the centre half has done a quite stirring interview in support of our current boss, the Lion of Gosforth. Taylor said:
'I just wish he had come in earlier. He is a very strict guy and everyone knows not to cross him. He has strict routines and that is how it should be at this club. He does not want any slackers. You have to be on time for everything. If you are late for anything you get a hefty fine. That's how it is.
There are no favourites at the club. The gaffer and Iain Dowie treat everybody exactly same. That's how it should be but it hasn't been at this club since I've been here. I'm now very confident and the lads are very confident that we can take maximum points from the last three games and stay in the top flight.
Everyone is more upbeat now. Everyone is working harder. The heart-rate monitors show we are not slacking off and if you do, you come in for afternoon sessions. You have to work hard for him.
We have never had a coach who has taken individuals specifically and worked with their different weaknesses. Iain Dowie has done a hell of a lot of stuff like that. The coaching of Iain has been fantastic. He has worked very closely with Alan Shearer.
The respect they have got from the players is massive. They know when to have a laugh and a joke. But they know when to tell the players to knuckle down to the serious work. In the training sessions that he puts on you have to work hard. If you are not prepared to work hard in the training session then you might as well go home.
The lads had the heart-rate monitors on for that first training session and the heart rates were way over what they should have been. Nobody stopped moving. Everyone was busy bees all of the time.
Monday is a night for men. We need 11 leaders out on the pitch. We have to give all we can for the club, we have to play out of our skin. We need players coming off the pitch with their black and white shirts absolutely drenched in sweat for the cause. It has choked me seeing Newcastle in the bottom three. There is no worse feeling.
When I go shopping, the people on the tills tell you what it means to them and how important the club is. Everyone knows what it means. When I'm out it's all anyone talks about. It reminds you of how important the club is. It is massively important we win the match. It's the biggest game of our careers.'