Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Criticism Spurred Us on ( Taylor

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Criticism Spurred Us on ( Taylor

Article excerpt

Byline: By Stuart Rayner

Steven Taylor says Newcastle United are being spurred on by a desire to prove their critics wrong.

Having been out since Boxing Day with a dislocated shoulder, the 20-year-old has returned to the ranks as a United fan. He has witnessed the club's revival under caretaker manager Glenn Roeder, who has led the Magpies to five wins and a draw from six games, conceding just two goals in the process.

It has made pleasant viewing for the centre-back, who hopes it will end the sniping his team-mates have had to endure, particularly the much-maligned back four.

"We're looking forward to ramming the words of the Press down their throats," he said. "I'm sick of seeing us get slagged off. The first thing people look at is the defence.

"We take it on the chin and don't let it affect us, but I still don't feel we get enough credit.

"In recent weeks they've been absolutely magnificent and keeping clean sheets. We've kept more clean sheets (10 in the league) than we did last season (six) and I think that speaks for itself.

"Whenever we get beaten the defence is the first thing that gets looked at. That's got to change."

Taylor has noticed a complete turn-around in morale since the departure of manager Graeme Souness.

"The confidence all the way through the team has changed," he said.

"Everyone's looking forward to the next game and I don't think we really had that before.

"We're playing for each other ( our passing's fantastic, we defend and attack as a team, we're covering each other at the back. We've got to keep it going and not get too full of ourselves. Knowing the lads, they won't."

The defender also stressed Roeder had benefited from having two of Souness' key signings fit at the same time ( something his predecessor in the United hotseat rarely enjoyed.

"We've got Scott Parker and Emre fully fit and that's been a massive factor," he added. …

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