Ex-Newcastle man Steven Taylor looks ahead to the visit of his former club
Steven Taylor is looking forward to welcoming his boyhood club to Portman Road on Monday, although there is no room for sentiment as he is looking for the Blues to take all three points.
The defender spent over a decade as a professional with Newcastle before leaving last summer, but the boyhood Magpie, who will miss out through injury, is hoping his new side can do the business.
"The main thing will be for us to get the three points," he told Ipswich Player HD.
"It's going to be a very tough game against probably the best team in the Championship who have been very consistent all season.
"I know it's a big game with the Sir Bobby Robson day that the Club has put on and Newcastle will come here needing that win to get closer to promotion.
"We still need to get the points on the table, too. We can't be thinking we're safe and relying on other teams to lose, so we need to do our job."
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The Blues will be hoping that everybody came through Friday's 2-1 win at Burton unscathed when the Toon Army come calling on Easter Monday. Mick had a relatively full squad to choose from for the clash at the Pirelli, aside from Adam Webster, Luke Hyam [both ankle], Steven Taylor [hamstring], Jonas Knudsen [shoulder] and Giles Coke [knee] who will all remain sidelined for Monday's game, and are all longer term absentees.
The Magpies' top scorer, Dwight Gayle will again be sidelined with a hamstring injury, opening the door to Aleksandar Mitrovic to hold his place up top, or even give Daryl Murphy the opportunity to start against Town for the first time since his departure in August. DeAndre Yedlin is also in contention for a starting spot having came off the bench in the midweek 1-1 draw with Leeds following a 6-week lay-off, but
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Last Time They Met
Ayoze Perez netted with less than a minute on the clock at St. James' Park back in October, and it was a goal which set the tone ahead of a tough afternoon for the Blues. Perez added a second with just over 15 minutes to play with an effort from close range before Matt Ritchie rounded off the win with a lovely finish from the edge of the box minutes later. Ex-Toon Army striker, Leon Best struck the bar, but that was as close as Town came to scoring as the scoreline finished 3-0.
The skipper is one of two outfield players in the division to have played every single minute of action so far this season, along with Bristol City's Aden Flint, and he is showing no signs of slowing down. His four goals for the campaign thus far make him Town's fourth-equal highest goalscorer, along with David McGoldrick and Brett Pitman, and his goals have, at times come at vital times, such as his winner at Sheffield Wednesday, but it's his defensive work which has been just as important. He has switched from right-back in to a back three, and he looks a lot more settled, as his solid performances emphasise, and with Newcastle's goalscoring prowess, he'll need to be aware on Monday.
It could be argued that Jonjo Shelvey has been Newcastle's best player this season, as he pulls the strings from midfield, but former Bournemouth man, Ritchie, is the match-winner. He has broken the 10-goal barrier in the league, and has scored a total of 15 in all competitions, with a further seven assists on top. He is also a danger from set-pieces, and is a player whose Premier League quality would be a valuable asset should the Magpies secure promotion.
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Assistant Referees: Adam Crysell & Andrew Fox
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