NEWCASTLE United boss Alan Pardew says Ryan Taylor’s contribution to their Capital One Cup upset was just rewards for his harrowing stint on the sidelines.
Taylor made his first competitive appearance since August 2012 in last night’s 2-0 victory at Manchester City after battling back from two cruciate knee ligament injuries.
But the 30-year-old’s return was a memorable one after helping Newcastle reach the quarter finals of the League Cup for the first time in nine years by deservedly eliminating the holders.
Pardew said: “He did outstanding.
“Professional footballers sometimes get a bad press for the way they conduct themselves.
“But you’re talking about a guy whose been injured for two years who has conducted himself in the best possible manner.
“He has had a smile on his face for two years.
“He has got that reward, I think he has only had a reserve game and a half.
“But he has come in last night and been outstanding.
“He’s a special player in our group.
“Our players all love him and he got a special round of applause when he came in the dressing room after the game.
“We all respect him after two years out with those injuries.”
Taylor showed few signs of rust after lasting the entire 90 minutes against a lethargic City side.
And the former Wigan man even had a hand in Newcastle’s early opening goal after forcing City midfielder Fernadinho into a sloppy pass which was pounced upon by Rolando Aarons.
“His performance was what he is all about – discipline and quality, which is what he’s like as an individual,” added Pardew.
“You have to remember when you can’t do what you want to do, it’s very frustrating as a professional athlete.
“He’s been restricted to what he does best, so of course he’s going to be emotional.
“But what a great night for him and us.
“We’re just delighted that we managed to give him a platform.
“He had 10 good players around him and he couldn’t ask for more than that.”
Taylor started off in midfield, but was switched to right-back in the second half after Daryl Janmaat was withdrawn.
He added: “All that time in the gym on my own, there til 4pm from 7am, it’s all worth it.
“To get my pads and boots back on has been a dream come true.”