STEVEN Taylor was sent on to shore up Newcastle United’s defence – but he went on to end a three-year goal drought.
Taylor came off the bench against Cardiff City on Saturday for the last 11 minutes.
United manager Alan Pardew felt his team, leading by Shola Ameobi’s first-half goal, needed to tighten up at the back.
And Taylor – who has found his chances limited this season by injury, suspension and the form of others – helped see the game out.
Loic Remy struck two minutes from time, and Taylor netted from close range in injury time at the end from which he used to watch matches as a child, with the 3-0 victory ending a club-record run of six successive Premier League defeats.
“The gaffer just wanted to make sure we got the clean sheet,” Taylor said
“I came on, and the opportunity came at the Sir John Hall end. Fortunately, the ball went in the back of the net.
“My last had been against West Brom (in May 2011) at the same end. That’s why celebrated like that. I means so much, especially at that end.
“As a young kid that’s where I sat with my dad.”
Taylor felt United “dictated” the match, the result of which relegated Cardiff.
The 28-year-old added: “Before the game we had a few targets, and I thought our gameplan worked well.
“They didn’t handle the power we had on the pitch. I thought the lads did their jobs well.
“We dictated how we wanted to play. We knew before the game that they couldn’t handle what we had. “
The game was played against a backdrop of chants against Pardew and owner Mike Ashley – with a number of banners being unfurled by fans – and several thousand supporters left in the 60th and 69th minutes in protest.
“The fans are entitled to their opinions,” said Taylor. “They pay good money, and can voice their opinion.
“We just had to do our jobs on the pitch. Training was spot on, and we needed the three points.”