Steven Taylor’s pain is Newcastle’s gain

BODY ON THE LINE ... Newcastle's Steven Taylor, left.
BODY ON THE LINE ... Newcastle's Steven Taylor, left.

STEVEN Taylor’s vowed to keep on putting his body on the line for Newcastle United – after taking one for the team against Chelsea.

The defender stopped an injury-time shot from Frank Lampard with his nether regions.

And the painful block – and a 90-minute team effort from every one of Alan Pardew’s players – helped United claim a hugely-significant 3-2 victory at St James’s Park on Saturday.

“It was as valuable a goal, but it’s not good for my family allowance!” Taylor told SportMail. “It was a painful one!

“That’s what it’s all about – doing everything for the cause. I think the boys did that.

“It was exciting. It was electric. I hadn’t had that feeling in a long time in the last few minutes. You heard the roar with everyone behind us. It kept us going.”

The game will be remembered best for home debutant Moussa Sissoko’s match-winning performance.

The midfielder scored two second-half goals, with the winner coming in the 90th minute.

Sissoko had marked his debut at Aston Villa four days earlier with the assist for Papiss Demba Cisse’s goal.

And Taylor paid tribute to Sissoko – and the club’s four other transfer-window signings – after the game for their impact on and off the field.

“Sissoko – the powerhouse – never gave up,” added the 27-year-old. “He caused them problems all afternoon.

“For me, it was like a breath of fresh air seeing what they’re all about on the training ground. They gave it their all, and I think the fans appreciated that.

“The way (Yoan) Gouffran chased back was unbelievable. He was so tired after the game.

“Even when we went 2-1 down, the winning mentality and the belief was still there. When we got back into the game at 2-2, I thought it would be a draw if I’m honest.

“We couldn’t do anything about the goals – you’ve just got to hold your hands up and accept them. It was a touch of class from (Juan) Mata for the second.”

Newcastle – who take on Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Saturday – are six points clear of the relegation zone after last week’s back-to-back wins.

And Pardew’s reinvigorated team will head to North London for the fixture in bullish mood having seemingly turned a corner after a difficult first half to the season.

What’s more, the “winning mentality” which took the club to a fifth-placed finish last season is back, according to Taylor.

“We knew that with the players we’ve got, we just needed a bit of luck,” said the former England Under-21 captain.

“We got that. We’ve got players coming back from injury. I think it’s a good start. We’ve got a winning mentality back.”

Twitter: @milesstarforth