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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb, 26, 2008

McLeish: Taylor 'shattered' by Eduardo break

Alex McLeish has revealed Birmingham defender Martin Taylor is 'mentally shattered' after the trauma of accidentally breaking the leg of Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva during the Premier League clash at St Andrews.

But the Blues boss believes the volume of support Taylor has received from within football means he will not be psychologically scarred by the incident.

Taylor was distraught and close to tears after the mistimed tackle on Eduardo, who will be out of action for at least nine months.

The former Blackburn player has even been the subject of death threats via several websites, including from Croatia fans upset Eduardo will miss the Euro 2008 finals.

And McLeish remembers how his then Aberdeen team-mate Neil Simpson was vilified by Rangers fans for putting Ian Durrant out of the game for the best part of three years after a challenge on the player in 1988.

McLeish said: 'Unfortunately we've had tragic injuries like this in the past - and we will get them again in the future. It is a tragic injury for the player and his club.

'We've had to rally around Martin Taylor because he was mentally shattered by the whole experience.

'But the fact he has had such magnificent support up and down the country has helped Martin psychologically because I felt he could be damaged by this as well.'

McLeish added: 'I was told he'd only been sent off once before nine years ago and I'm surprised even at that.

'Although he is a big giant of a man, if you ask anyone who has worked with Martin they wouldn't say he is an out-and-out aggressive centre-half.

'He is more of a football-playing centre-half. Martin was horrified with what happened and, if the referee had given him only a yellow card, I don't know if he could have played on anyway. Just the look on his face after what happened.

'I would have been worried about him coming back into the club for training had we not received the support from football people the length and breadth of the country.

'Martin has had personal phone calls of support and there have been emails to the club.

'We've got to move forward now and Martin has to get on with his football career again. We are all right behind the big fellow 100% and we are also very gutted for Eduardo.'

Taylor will not be able to return to action until the trip to Reading on March 22 while he serves a three-match ban, which rules him out of the home games with Tottenham and Newcastle and the away clash at Portsmouth.

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