Taylor hails spirited Magpies
Steven Taylor has backed the spirit of the players at Newcastle to see them through the season.
Last Updated: 12/08/11 9:28am
Steven Taylor has backed the spirit of the players at Newcastle to see them through what has been a tumultuous pre-season.
The club has been engulfed by Joey Barton's criticism of the board via Twitter which has culminated in the midfielder being transfer-listed.
Club captain Kevin Nolan has joined West Ham, while Jose Enrique is expected to join Liverpool on Friday.
Despite the departures of their big names, Alan Pardew has still managed to bring five new players in.
Pardew's team start their Premier League campaign on Saturday against Arsenal at St James' Park.
And having faced Fiorentina in pre-season, the former England Under-21 international believes that game was the ideal warm-up for their season's opener.
"Fiorentina was the perfect preparation because they probably play the game in the same way as Arsenal and although we know we will be going into it as underdogs, we are a group of friends and out spirit will get us through," he told the Daily Express.
"We are used to criticism. Every year it is the same so, for me, it is just the usual talk. But when we played Fiorentina we didn't look like a club in crisis on the pitch.
"Even some of their players commented on how well we played. Big players may have gone but the ones who have come in know what is expected."
He added: "Our tour to America could have put pressure on one or two, but we came through with everyone pulling for each other.
"We do not have cliques. If we had a bigger squad there might be a danger of that, but we all enjoy each other's company."