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Prior to the North East derby, the Magpies' central defender has stated he would never play for the Black Cats and that none of their players could play for the Toon

Steven Taylor has fanned the flames ahead of the crucial North East derby on Sunday afternoon.

The Newcastle-born defender, who has spent his whole career with the Magpies, is a life-long Toon fan and has made no secret of his opinion of their fiercest rivals.

And in a sensational outburst that will ensure the competitive juices are flowing on both sides, he declared that no Sunderland player would make it into the Newcastle starting XI.

When asked by reporters which Sunderland players would make it into the team he replied:

“Not even one player. That is the quality we possess.

“We say it all the time. Even last year the gaffer said it, he has our team above Sunderland."

When Taylor was pressed on this claim and asked about Adam Johnson, he was uncompromising in his view

“No! He can join our reserves if he wants to.

“But Adam Johnson is a very good player. I played with him with England Under-21s and he is very attack-minded.

"He knows all about this game, being from Middlesbrough.”

Taylor then went on to state that he would never consider playing for the Black Cats, and also praised the passion the derby brought out in fans.

“I would rather collect stamps than stick on that shirt! I have not got any friends who are Sunderland fans.

“As for the players, I am friendly with one or two of them from the Under-21s but that was before they signed for Sunderland.

“Nobody needs to tell me how much these games mean. I am really excited. Before the game against Manchester United a couple of weeks back everyone was talking about that one.

“But I was only thinking about the Sunderland game. I am nervous, and I will be until I get into the tunnel. Then I can’t wait to get on the pitch.

“Is it the most passionate in the country? Put it this way, when I am warming up, their fans have the veins popping out of their necks shouting at me. It is like I have done something to their family!

“I have always enjoyed that hostility. They can say what they want, it won’t get to me.”

 

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