Taylor secures permanent deal at Birmingham

Maik Taylor has spelt out his delight at tying up a permanent move to Birmingham City and insisted: "I always had faith in my ability to play at the top level." Taylor is experiencing his first full season of Premiership football and he has now completed a £1.5m move from Fulham after being on loan all season.

Maik Taylor has spelt out his delight at tying up a permanent move to Birmingham City and insisted: "I always had faith in my ability to play at the top level." Taylor is experiencing his first full season of Premiership football and he has now completed a £1.5m move from Fulham after being on loan all season.

The former Southampton player has signed a deal which will keep him at St Andrews until 2008. Taylor has played a significant part in establishing the Blues as a side who are still in with a chance of qualifying for Europe. Taylor moved away from Fulham despite being in the first team for the second half of last season when it became apparent that Edwin van der Sar would be first choice again on his return from injury.

The Northern Ireland No 1 said: "I'm very happy to stay full-time and it was never ever going to be any big deal in terms of agreeing personal teams. My family moved up to the area as soon as I joined Birmingham and it was going to go through just as long as we stayed up as the clubs had agreed a fee.

"I am enjoying it here. It is my first full season in the top flight and it has got to make you sharper playing week-in and week-out. Fulham went down the road of signing van der Sar which restricted my options there - although I was in the team for the second half of last season. But I always had faith in my ability to be able to play at the top level and it was great to come to a place where you feel wanted and part of things."

Mikael Forssell has hinted that he will look to leave Chelsea in the summer if he is not guaranteed regular first-team football - and that, too, could mean a move to St Andrews.

Forssell is currently on a season-long loan with Birmingham and his double at Middlesbrough on Saturday took his tally for the season to 16 goals. He would love to play a significant role at Stamford Bridge and he signed a new four-year contract in August. But the Finland international would not be content to revert to his former bit-part role with the Blues in 2004-05.

He said: "There's still three years left of my contract and I know that Claudio Ranieri likes me as a player. But I have always said that I don't want to go back to Chelsea just to sit on the bench. If Chelsea decide they are ready to play me, then that is a different ball game."

The Birmingham manager, Steve Bruce, said: "On Saturday Mikael was a million miles above everybody else. He's a top player and we know that we have got to keep him. I am sure every Birmingham fan and all the people at the club know that as well and we'll do our utmost to keep him but he is Chelsea's player."

Meanwhile, the Bolton captain Jay-Jay Okocha has put contract talks on hold until the end of the season. He said: "I have decided to leave everything until the end of the season. I am still a Bolton player and I just have to focus on the remaining games and give my all. Then we will see what will happen."

The West Bromwich Albion midfielder Mark Kinsella has been recalled to the 22-man Republic of Ireland squad for the friendly against the Czech Republic at Lansdowne Road on 31 March. The Republic of Ireland manager, Brian Kerr, left Kinsella out of his last two squads for the games against Canada and Brazil because the 31-year-old was not enjoying first-team football at the time with Aston Villa. But a move to West Brom has had the desired effect.

Back after injury comes Hibernian goalkeeper Nicky Colgan at the expense of West Brom's Joe Murphy. Leeds United midfielder Stephen McPhail is also recalled.

Ireland squad, Digest, page 50

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam