Taylor hopes to keep Newcastle place for Spurs clash

LONG-SERVING ... Newcastle's Steven Taylor.
LONG-SERVING ... Newcastle's Steven Taylor.

STEVEN Taylor is hoping to keep his Newcastle United place – after keeping it clean on his return to the starting XI.

Taylor made his first Premier League start of the season against Leicester City last weekend in the absence through injury of Mike Williamson.

And the defender helped the club record its first league win of the campaign.

United manager Alan Pardew is hopeful that Williamson will be fit for Sunday’s game against Tottenham Hotspur.

Taylor is hoping he did enough against Leicester to keep his place at White Hart Lane, where Newcastle will face a Tottenham team looking to put last weekend’s 4-1 defeat at Manchester City behind them.

United remain in the Premier League’s relegation zone.

But Taylor and his team-mates are confident the team can kick on – starting against Tottenham.

“We needed those three points,” Taylor said. “It was a massive lift for everybody.

“If we hadn’t got that result, there would have been more pressure on the lads.

“It was a relief. You saw the lads’ faces after the game – it was a hard game.

“You looked at when Gabby (Obertan) scored – everybody celebrated together. There was that togetherness.

“We’ve got to work hard for each other – that’s all we can do.

“We can look forward to the Tottenham game now.”

Taylor had previously started Newcastle’s Capital One Cup games against Crystal Palace and Gillingham, but he still felt the effects of his first 90-minute league run-out since May.

“I’ve worked hard in training and done the extra stuff that I’ve needed to do,” said Taylor.

“I’m keeping my fitness up. I came through it. I played 120 minutes against Crystal Palace and 90 minutes against Gillingham in the cup.

“But Premier League games are completely different.”

Taylor, having been named in the starting XI against Leicester, admits he feared the game would be called off on safety grounds after a panel next to St James’s Park’s new TV screen came loose.

The game eventually kicked off an hour late after engineers secured it.

“I was thinking ‘do not call this game off!’,” said Taylor.

“I couldn’t wait to get out there – it was great to be out there in front of 52,000 people.

“I got that buzz back. I’ve got a love for the game, and just want to play.”