Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Taylor Is Urged to Grasp His Chance; Pardew Makes Demand of Defender Pardew Frustrated at United Injury List

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Taylor Is Urged to Grasp His Chance; Pardew Makes Demand of Defender Pardew Frustrated at United Injury List

Article excerpt

Byline: Luke Edwards

STEVEN Taylor has been told to galvanise a flagging career after Alan Pardew suggested the centre-back's development has stagnated at Newcastle United.

Taylor (pictured below) will be given a run in the side because of the news Mike Williamson will miss the rest of the season after he broke his arm in the gym yesterday. Pardew is hoping to see a player whom he was determined to keep at the club when he arrived as manager before Christmas start to show signs that he can return to the sort of form that once put him on the fringes of the England squad.

Taylor had initially refused to sign a new contract at United, presumably waiting to see if a better offer came in, before changing his mind when Pardew arrived.

But the 25-year-old has failed to hold down a regular place in the side since, spending most of the last few months on the bench.

Much of that is down to the form of Williamson and the excellent Fabricio Coloccini, but Pardew feels Taylor needs to improve.

"He had a fantastic younger part of his career," said Pardew, who is also coming to terms with the news Hatem Ben Arfa has suffered a setback in training that will almost certainly mean he does not play again this season.

"Then he's hit a bit of a levelling off when he's not gone either forward or backward, and that's dangerous for a young player.

"He needs to get back moving his career in the right direction. He's a young centre-half with tremendous qualities and he needs to just have the mentality to use those.

"He's got the technical ability to be an England player, but you've got to be fit every week and have the mentality to work every day. His fitness and injuries have been a big issue and probably one of the reasons why he's flattened out." Taylor has only started two games this year, the last of those as a right-back in a 2-1 home defeat by Everton, which was widely criticised. Pardew, though, feels it would be harsh to judge the Academy graduate on the basis of that performance. Instead, the United. boss will be looking closely at how he performs in his preferred central position over the next three games. …

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