Neil Taylor: Aston Villa defender 'desperately sorry' for Seamus Coleman injury

Neil Taylor (far right)
Neil Taylor (right) made his debut for Wales in May 2010 and has won 39 caps to date

Neil Taylor is "desperately sorry" for the tackle that broke Seamus Coleman's leg, says Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce.

Wales left-back Taylor, 28, was sent off for the challenge during the World Cup qualifier with the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on 24 March.

"He's deeply disappointed - no-one wants to see a fellow professional badly injured," Bruce told BBC WM 95.6.

Everton defender Coleman, 28, needed surgery on his fibula and tibia after the 0-0 draw.

Taylor helped Swansea win promotion to the Premier League in 2011 and moved to Villa from south Wales in January.

"I've only been working with him for a month and he's desperately sorry for what's happened - all our thoughts at Villa are with Seamus," said Bruce.

"Unfortunately these things happen - you get caught up in the heat of the battle and the pace of the game is ferocious, especially at international level."

Neil Taylor
Neil Taylor began his career with Wrexham and made 179 appearances for Swansea before moving to Aston Villa in a swap deal that saw Jordan Ayew move to the Liberty Stadium

The Villa boss had first-hand experience of a similar injury when Coventry City defender David Buust badly broke his leg in a game against Manchester United at Old Trafford in April 1996.

And he says Taylor has to try to put any negative thoughts about the incident with Coleman out of his mind when he next plays.

"That's the big thing Neil will have to face himself - when you're in the flow of the game and go into a tackle, you don't think about it," Bruce added.

"Only Neil can answer that and once he gets over it and gets back playing, I'm sure he'll be fine."

Taylor has been banned for Wales' next qualifier in Serbia in June, but could have that extended after Fifa opened proceedings against the player - a move Bruce described as "harsh".

'Even a three-game ban not enough'

Kelly Smith, the former Arsenal Ladies forward and England Women's record goalscorer, suffered a ligament injury from what she describes as a "reckless" tackle while playing.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live's Friday Sports Panel, she said a three-game ban for Taylor would not be enough punishment.

"How can you justify a tackle like that? Seamus Coleman is out now for six to nine months in agony," the 38-year-old said.

"I think there should be a longer-term punishment for players who are reckless in these challenges that they put in.

"I had three ligaments ripped off my ankle bone from a late challenge from behind, and for me at the time I said it was reckless and uncalled for.

"I was spoken to severely by Arsenal and the Football Association, but I felt that was the right thing for me to do.

"No-one knows what you go through emotionally when you're out injured on the back of a horrific tackle, and Taylor will still get to play while Coleman is on his back and going through a painful rehab process.

"You know thoughts will come into his mind of will he ever player again."

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