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Town: Taylor given clearance for tonight’s tie

Sky Bet Championship side Ipswich Town have received international clearance for Steven Taylor, and he is eligible to make his debut tonight against Derby.

The Newcastle United academy product has returned to England after spending 13 years with his favoured club.

Taylor arrived at Portman Road on a free transfer after his contract with American side Portland Timbers was cancelled by mutual consent last month.

Taylor progressed through the England system: including the Under-16, 17, 20 and 21 sides but – despite being called up twice and making 29 appearances for the under-21 side – he was never given a full cap for the national team.

The 31-year-old started his career with boyhood club United with whom he appeared over 200 times for, netting 13 times.  During his first few years with the Tyneside club he went on-loan to Wycombe Wanderers but in 2016 he moved to America to play in the MLS.

Town sit ten points above the bottom three, but face incredibly tough ties against Aston Villa, Leeds United, Reading and local rivals Norwich City in the coming weeks.

Many supporters were hoping for a flagship replacement for prolific talisman Daryl Murphy – who moved to Newcastle in the summer – but they have been left waiting throughout the month, with former Wolves boss Mick McCarthy looking to the lower leagues for inspiration.

Taylor is now eligible as the Blues host Derby County in an incredibly important game for the Tractor Boys. The two sides having four places and eight points between them, but the Rams are looking to continue their fight for the play-offs; whilst Town are looking to propel themselves further up the table and away from a relegation scrap ahead of a difficult February.

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