Taylor focused on England
England Under-21 captain Steven Taylor has admitted he is concerned about the Newcastle situation.
Last Updated: 05/09/08 3:42pm
Steven Taylor has admitted he is 'very concerned' about the situation at Newcastle but is staying focused on England Under-21s.
The Magpies defender will captain Stuart Pearce's side against Portugal Under-21s on Friday night after a week of turmoil at his club.
Kevin Keegan resigned as manager on Thursday after days of speculation about whether he had walked away or been sacked.
Taylor has been following the events closely but he will be thinking solely about England when he leads his country out at Wembley.
England need to avoid defeat to ensure they make it through to the European Championship play-offs and Taylor insists he is relishing the responsibility of captaincy.
"Obviously, I am very concerned at the situation back in Newcastle but I have got to try and put that to the back of my mind at least for 90 minutes tonight," Taylor told the Evening Chronicle.
"The game's at Wembley, and there's no bigger stage. It's a chance to play for my country, and when you walk out with the Three Lions on your shirt, you feel so proud.
"It's a great moment when you get that captain's armband. It makes you feel three inches taller.
"Words can't describe how good it feels. I'm very proud to lead the lads, especially when we've got so much quality. I missed out when the Under-21s played Italy as I was coming back from injury, but I was in the squad for the Germany game, and it was the best feeling warming up at Wembley.
"It was a fantastic experience, and makes you want it more and more."
Taylor is excited about the potential of the England Under-21 team and feels confident they can top their qualifying group.
He said: "I'm looking forward to it. It's a big game, and we need a win or a draw to win the group.
"We don't want to finish second. With the squad we've got, there's no reason why we can't.
"We've got a winning mentality, and the Under-21s have a great record. It's up to us to keep that going."