How Taylor could destroy Aston Villa dressing room morale
COMMENT By Matt Farr
It has been a disastrous week for Aston Villa defender Neil Taylor.
The 28-year-old was sent off for a horror tackle on Seamus Coleman during a World Cup qualifier between Wales and Republic of Ireland on Friday, which saw the Everton star stretchered off and in hospital.
It has since been reported by the Telegraph that Coleman suffered a double leg-break as a result of Taylor’s reckless challenge, and is expected to spend the next six months recuperating on the sidelines.
Taylor has since been bombarded with abuse from fans for his moment of madness, but it is imperative that he sets it all aside when he returns to his Aston Villa duties this week.
Villa have been far from their best this season and look likely to miss out on promotion to the Premier League as a result.
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They are already 11 points behind the play-offs, but there is still time for them to turn things around and trigger a late surge into the promotion places.
But that requires every single member of the Villa Park camp to be entirely focused on the job at hand, which has not been the case for much of the season, not to mention a fair amount of good fortune.
That also means Taylor cannot afford to dwell on the events of this week, as if his dejection creeps into the Aston Villa dressing room, it could severely damage the morale of a side that need to hit their stride.
Steve Bruce’s unit have shown signs of improvement in recent weeks, picking up five wins from their last six Championship outings, giving them precious momentum heading into the final eight games of their campaign.
With important games to come against Norwich, Reading and Fulham, Aston Villa need to continue that momentum for as long as possible.
Taylor is an experienced professional, and should be able to handle his current predicament, but if he is not up for the fight, Bruce must exclude him from their run-in until his head is clear.
In other Aston Villa news, the club are eyeing a Championship goal machine with Bruce ready to pay £3million to acquire his services.