Taylor seeks forgiveness as City focus on Wolves

Rob Parrish
Friday 03 December 1999 00:00 GMT

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Robert Taylor will make his debut for Manchester City against Wolves at Molineux tonight.

Robert Taylor will make his debut for Manchester City against Wolves at Molineux tonight.

The 28-year-old striker, who scored against City for Gillingham in last season's Second Division play-off final, says he hopes Maine Road fans will have forgiven him for trying to ruin their promotion hopes at Wembley last summer, following his £1.5m from the Kent club.

Joe Royle's men staged a late fightback to eventually beat the Gills on penalties, and now Taylor says he will do all he can to make amends for that Wembley goal and help City secure a second successive promotion.

"I hope the fans get behind me at Wolves and that they can forgive me if they do have any bad memories left over from Wembley," he said. "I'm sure they will. I am a Manchester City player now and will be giving 100 per cent for them."

Taylor has never played at Molineux and admitted that playing for the First Division leaders will provide him with his biggest challenge yet. The former Brentford and Leyton Orient forward added: "It's a big leap for me and there are obviously better players in this Division. But it's a challenge I'm looking forward to and will be doing my very best for Manchester City."

Royle, who saw his side beaten by second-placed Huddersfield in their last outing, will give fitness tests to Mark Kennedy (hamstring) and Ian Bishop (calf) before the game. Andy Morrison, Paul Dickov and Jim Whitley are all still on the sidelines and will not feature in the first team for at least another fortnight.

Royle said: "The result last weekend was a disappointment for us, but the big plus for us is that we are still top and we are still two points clear. We've seen Wolves a few times this season, they haven't quite clicked yet, but they are certainly play-off contenders.

"I'm surprised they haven't scored more goals this season, and I certainly hope they don't change that against us. Ade Akinbiyi and Haavard Flo look like a good pair. They have the makings of a Premiership club."

Terry Cooke, the former Manchester United winger, has been dropped for the first time by Royle. "Terry's not got going this season," Royle said. "He has not shown this year what he can do so I'm issuing the challenge to him to see if he can prove himself."

Colin Lee, the Wolves manager, has no new injury problems and is likely to remain with the players on duty for the defeat at Tranmere. After an unbeaten run of 10 games, Wanderers have lost twice in the last 10 days, going down 1-0 at Ipswich and at Prenton Park.

John Ward, the assistant manager, sees the City game as the perfect opportunity for the Molineux side to respond. "It's a test of resolve really. A great opportunity for us against the league leaders."

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