Taylor gives Pardew his backing
Steven Taylor says he has complete faith that Newcastle manager Alan Pardew can stave off the threat of relegation this season and lead the club towards a brighter future.
Pardew enjoyed a fantastic first full season with the Magpies, guiding them to a fifth-place finish in the Premier League. Securing Europa League qualification in the process, Newcastle's performances earned the 51-year-old the 2012 LMA Manager of the Year award, as well a new eight-year contract at St James' Park.
However, his second full campagin has gone a lot less smoothly, with the club spending most of it in the bottom half of the table. Injuries and suspensions have taken their toll on the Magpies, who find themselves six points above the relegation zone with just four games left.
Despite such hardships, Taylor believes that his current boss is the right man for the job, and says there is a strong sense of togetherness among the squad as they prepare for a vital clash against Liverpool on Saturday.
"We want these three points so bad, and hopefully that'll happen on Saturday," he told the Evening Chronicle. "We're behind the manager, and he's behind the players. We have to deliver. The confidence is there, and we need everyone behind us until the end of the season. The staff and players are together, wanting to do well. We have to accept the criticism when it comes our way. After the Fulham game [a 1-0 win], everyone was happy, we saw that.
"Then we got criticised after the Sunderland game [a 3-0 loss], and we've got to hold our hands up and accept that. It was what we deserved. It was a big kick up the backside. I hope the atmosphere is electric. The fans have got to raise the roof, and we've got to get after them and test them. We've got to get in their faces. If we put the commitment in like we did [against West Brom], I think we can get a result. The fans were great [at The Hawthorns].
"Even when it was 1-1, and we had to defend, they were with us. They were always behind us. Fair play to them at the end. The lads put a great shift in – we defended so well. Hopefully, everything will go well."
Meanwhile, Yven Moyo has been allowed to attend trials in his native France, pending his release from the club. The winger arrived on Tyneside in 2010 with a notable pedigree amid reports that Manchester United had been vying for his signature.
However, with Newcastle intending to restructure their development squad in the summer, the former Sochaux player has been informed his future lies elsewhere.