Taylor backs under-seige Magpies
Steven Taylor is confident of Newcastle's chances ahead of their forthcoming clash with Man City.
By Will Wood
Last Updated: 18/10/08 1:47pm
Steven Taylor believes the siege mentality surrounding Newcastle United will serve them well in the forthcoming clash with Manchester City.
Weeks of turmoil at St James' Park have seen Kevin Keegan depart as manager, owner Mike Ashley succumb to pressure from fans and declare his intention to sell the club, and short-term manager Joe Kinnear become embroiled in a war of words with the media.
Amid such events, The Magpies have limped to just five points from a possible 21, leaving them in 18th position in the Premier League, though the 2-2 draw with Everton halted a run of five straight defeats and brought with it fresh optimism.
And the 22-year old Taylor believes that, while speculation continues off-the-field, the players now possess sufficient confidence to secure a surprise result against Mark Hughes' money-rich side.
"There is a bit of a siege mentality going on. We are all looking ahead to Man City and taking all of the confidence we have built up into that game," Taylor said.
"We are long overdue a home win in this one. We showed the fighting spirit at Everton and now we want to see more of it.
"We pulled it round when it looked all over. If we can take the good things from our second-half performance at Goodison, keeping the ball and working hard, we have a good chance."
Newcastle's clash with The Toffees a fortnight ago was the first of Kinnear's tenure, and while the visitors found themselves 2-0 down within 35 minutes, Taylor's headed goal just before the interval and Damien Duff's effort immediately after the break handed the side a well deserved point.
The upturn in the club's fortunes, Taylor believes, is down to Kinnear's arrival, and he now feels the squad can force their way out of the relegation zone and into mid-table.
"The spirit in the dressing room is much better," he continued.
"The lads had been feeling a bit sorry for themselves. But it has been fantastic since Joe Kinnear came in - he has lifted us all.
"To be honest, we were actually disappointed after Everton that we didn't win the game. That shows how much progress has been made.
"We needed to stop the rot. Hopefully we can carry that into the Man City game. It certainly gives the lads confidence."