IN-FORM Ryan Taylor has responded to the ‘respect’ Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has shown him.
That’s the view of former Magpie Robbie Elliott, who believes the faith Pardew is showing in his players is helping get the best out of them.
Newcastle are one of the surprise packages of the season, sitting sixth in the Premier League, one point off a Champions League spot.
And one of the reasons why they have continued to confound the critics is by unheralded players like Taylor continuing to put in top performances.
Elliott made more than 150 appearances for the club in two spells at St James’s Park, and as such is well placed to talk about left-backs.
The versatile Taylor has been a star performer in that position this campaign, as well as in midfield, producing goals and assists to his defensive duties - and being rewarded for his efforts by Pardew.
Elliott said: “Ryan Taylor’s having a great season.
“We all know what he can provide, his goals and delivery from set-plays are fantastic.
“The manager’s very good and been very respectful in keeping Ryan in the side when he did well, which doesn’t always happen.
“I think that’s something the players respond to.
“If you play well enough he’ll keep you in, which is a breath of fresh air as a player.
“One of the worst things you can experience is when you know you’re doing well but someone comes in and takes your place when you’ve done nothing wrong. That can upset the dressing room in itself.
“So I think that’s one of the reasons Alan Pardew is getting so much respect from the players.”
Taylor has been used more in midfield in the last few weeks, with Davide Santon occupying the left-back slot.
Elliott’s been impressed with the impact the Italian has had, saying: “He has come in and done a great job.
“Alan Pardew’s got players playing in proper positions, and that can only help Newcastle for the rest of the season.”