STEVEN Taylor’s convinced Newcastle United will stay up – after taking one look around the dressing room.
Taylor was in the side beaten 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium by Manchester City on Saturday,
The defeat left the club – which faces Benfica in the first leg of a Europa League quarter-final on Thursday night – just three points above the Premier League’s relegation zone.
United’s domestic fortunes had improved after five players joined in January.
However, with seven games left to play, 15th-placed Newcastle still need around seven points to be certain of staying up.
Taylor – which experienced the pain of relegation four years ago – remains upbeat ahead of a tough run-in given the quality manager Alan Pardew has in his squad.
“I’m confident in my team-mates,” Taylor said. “I look around the dressing room at the players and who I train with every day, and what I’m sat around is top-class.
“We aren’t looking down – we’re looking up. We’re looking at who we can catch and chase.
“If you look at the games we have coming up, Benfica twice, Fulham and then Sunderland, we’re excited.
“In the next few weeks I’m looking to see this all wrapped up in the Premier League, and hopefully we can look forward to the Europa League.”
Injury-hit United started off on the back foot at the Etihad Stadium – and stayed there for the bulk of the first half, which saw Carlos Tevez and David Silva give City a 2-0 lead at the break.
Newcastle improved after the break, but a strike from home captain Vincent Kompany ended any hopes of a comeback, and the home side’s fourth took a deflection off substitute James Perch.
“Everything we wanted to do, we couldn’t,” said 27-year-old Taylor, who had spent the internatioal fortnight on duty with England.
“Nothing went for us, and our gameplan didn’t pay off.
“We absorbed them, but we didn’t put them under enough pressure. A little one-two around the box created the first goal and got their fans excited.
“Then we were on the back foot in the first half.
“In the second half the gaffer wanted the reaction, and changed things a bit, and for the first 15 minutes in the second half, two good chances were created.
“If we’d got a daft goal it would have put them on the back foot, and you never know what their fans are going to be like.
“I was hoping we were going to get an early goal in the first half because their fans can go against them and make it difficult.”
With so much at stake over the next week - Newcastle entertain Fulham at St James’s Park on Sunday - Taylor says he and his team-mates can’t dwell on the result.
“For us, we have to write this game off and make sure there’s a massive reaction,” he said.
“The players have got to get themselves recovered well and put in a performance.”