Taylor Says - I'm No Coward!

Last updated : 22 June 2007 By Footy Mad - Editor
England Under-21 players came within a minute of reaching the final.

The 21-year-old could barely walk but England had used their substitutes and Nedum Onuoha's injury left them down to 10 men, so Taylor carried on.

Taylor: "There was a lot of pain. The main thing in my head was that this was the semi-finals of European Championships, there's no way on earth I would walk off that pitch leaving 10 men.

"No chance of that happening. We had used all our subs up. I had to play.

"As I walked off, their manager came up to me, shouting to me 'coward' and 'cheat'. I couldn't believe he called me that.

"I went up and took the penalty, grabbed the ball straight away, and got on with it. There was no better feeling than sticking it in back of net.

"I wish Holland all the best, good luck to them, but there's no way he's going to call me a cheat or a coward. It's not in my character.

"After I had the drugs test after the game, he [McClaren] came in afterwards and was really encouraging. The Under-21s is a great honour, but to play in the senior side would be the icing on the cake, a dream come true.

"You could see the rest of the lads worked so hard, and stuck together. The players who didn't come are probably kicking themselves now, wishing they were involved because we were so close to getting to the final.

"They had their own reasons, it's up to them. But I don't think there's any bigger honour than representing your country. I don't care if it's a friendly game, but especially the European Championship.

"It's the biggest stage, you are playing for England, and you have to express yourself."