Lyle Taylor reveals why he rejected Sunderland move - as he aims to fire Charlton to play-off final glory
Charlton Athletic Lyle Taylor has revealed why he snubbed a summer switch to Sunderland as the pair prepare to do battle in the League One play-off final.
The Black Cats were in the market for a new striker following their relegation to the third tier, with manager Jack Ross having highlighted Taylor as a key target after an impressive season at AFC Wimbledon.
But the free agent ultimately decided to make the move to the Addicks - with whom he has enjoyed a stellar campaign having netted 25 times en route to the play-off final.
And the 29-year-old has now revealed the key reasons behind his decision to snub a move to Wearside, with Charlton boss Lee Bowyer a key contributing factor.
MORE: The EFL rule changes that could affect Sunderland and Charlton in the League One play-off finalThe impact of the former Newcastle United man, coupled with location and his desire to achieve promotion, saw Taylor decide that Sunderland weren't the correct fit.
“With what I did at Wimbledon, I didn’t think – and I still don’t think – people sat up and took enough notice of what I’d done," he said, speaking to South London Press.
“It’s because of the stage you do it on – it’s not deemed to be big enough.
“So I was in a place where I was frustrated that people didn’t seem to rate the things I had done there.
READ: Clive Mendonca reflects on his Sunderland past and an awkward meeting with Micky Gray“I thought for me to get to the Championship that I could go up to Sunderland, who are expected to win the league because of the size of their budget, or I could try and do something under somebody [Lee Bowyer] who I knew would back me to the hilt.
“And I knew any word he would have to say about me, as long as I did my job, would change peoples’ perception about me.
“So I knew playing under Bow was the right thing to do. It was simply about him meeting me and whether he liked me – because of what he’d heard.
“Ultimately I’m not the person a lot of people think I am and say I am. So, I decided the best thing for me to do was come here.
MORE: Charlton boss explains why Sunderland are favourites for League One play-off final“I’m already here. I’m already settled. I’m home. This is home for me. Then I don’t have to worry about the move, not being around my family – which for me is a big thing – and it’s the familiarity of being born in Greenwich, raised in New Cross and being 15 minutes from the doorstep of the house I was brought up in.
“Added to the fact it was Lee Bowyer as the manager. So it was kind of a concoction of things.”