Sheffield Wednesday: Taylor aims to secure Owls starting spot

Martin Taylor is seeking to become a first-team regular at Hillsborough. Picture: Steve Ellis.
Martin Taylor is seeking to become a first-team regular at Hillsborough. Picture: Steve Ellis.
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If Sheffield Wednesday offer a permanent contract to trialist Kamil Zayatte before the start of the Championship season, that would cast a further doubt over the future of Martin Taylor.

Owls manager Dave Jones wants to bring in another defender ahead of their league opener at Queens Park Rangers on August 3.

It is understood Zayatte, who started both of Wednesday’s friendlies in their pre-season tour of Portugal last week, has been invited to train with the rest of the squad at the club’s Middlewood training ground and is in contention to play against Glasgow Rangers tomorrow night.

Taylor was not given a run-out in Saturday’s bore draw with Hull City as Jones preferred captain Anthony Gardner and Zayatte at the heart of their defence. Miguel Llera came on as a second-half replacement for Gardner. Should Zayatte, a former teammate of Gardner’s at Hull, move to Hillsborough, it appears Taylor will become fourth choice for a centre-half spot.

After arriving from Watford last August, Taylor - known inside the club as Tiny - struggled to hit top form on a consistent basis and the 33-year-old found first-team opportunities hard to come by in the second half of the campaign as Jones opted to pair Gardner with Llera in the centre. Taylor’s last competitive outing came in mid-February at Birmingham City.

But buoyed by scoring two goals in the pre-season warm-up matches against Stockport County and Braga, Taylor is determined to stay and fight for his place.

The defender, who made 12 starts and one substitute appearance during the 2012/13 season, told The Star: “I know, from my performances when I came in last year, I could have performed better. But there is no point dwelling on it. You have to move on.

“I feel in good shape right now. I know I have to be at my best in training and in the games to prove to the manager that I deserve to play.

“I am going to carry on giving a 100 per cent and try to make sure I perform to the best of my ability.”