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Newcastle's Taylor: I want to be like Terry

Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor admits he models his game on Chelsea captain John Terry.

Taylor told the Sunday Mirror: "It is a huge honour to captain your country at any level and I am thrilled that Stuart Pearce has made me captain going into the European Under-21 Championship campaign.

"We have a good squad, a great manager and now my target is to get England on course for the finals in 2009. But, having had a taste of the full England squad, that has to be my ultimate target.

"It will be a huge challenge for me when you look at the quality England have in central defence.

"Ahead of me are top-class centre-halves such as John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Jonathan Woodgate, Ledley King to name just a few - and Sol Campbell has also returned to the squad.

"It is a formidable queue, but I suppose it would have been even tougher for me to break through if Jamie Carragher hadn't decided to retire from international football."

But Taylor admits that he received a massive boost after teaming up with his hero Terry during his week with England.

Taylor added: "It was a fantastic experience. I imagined there would be a bit of rivalry between players from Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United, but I was amazed by how laid-back the atmosphere was in the England camp. There was a real sense of togetherness.

"When I was a teenager I went to Wycombe on loan and learned an awful lot about playing centre-half from Tony Adams.

"But later in my career John Terry became the one I looked up to. He is a world-class centre half and has a commanding presence.

"He is also a very approachable guy and on the day of the Germany game he even took time out to talk me through set-pieces and other tactical issues.

"He has become my role model and I watch his game closely to see how I can improve my own performances."

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Tribal Football Staff

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