Taylor ready for Black Cats clash
Newcastle defender Steven Taylor is not considering the prospect of defeat in the Wear-Tyne derby.
Last Updated: 24/10/08 2:49pm
Newcastle defender Steven Taylor is not considering the prospect of defeat in the Wear-Tyne derby on Saturday.
The centre-back is well aware of the importance of the trip to the Stadium of Light, which can be seen live on Sky Sports 1 and HD 1, and is hoping for three points to ensure the bragging rights.
Taylor also acknowledges that Newcastle cannot afford to sacrifice an impressive record at Sunderland, having not lost an away fixture against their local rivals since 1980.
He said: "We know about Newcastle's record at Sunderland and we are not even thinking about the possibility of a defeat.
"Our priority is to go there and win the game. As a Geordie, the derbies against Sunderland are the first games you look for when the fixtures come out, and I am glad the first game is away."
Newcastle have endured a traumatic season following a succession of off-field controversies, but Taylor insists confidence is high after Monday's 2-2 draw with Manchester City.
Habib Beye was sent off early on against City at St James' Park, and Taylor believes the battling point represents an excellent team spirit.
"The main thing now is that we are going there (Sunderland) full of confidence after playing Manchester City with 10 men," added Taylor.
"The lads showed a lot of character and performed to their best. When the going gets tough, it's up to the boys to stand up and be counted."
Taylor has also praised the impact of interim manager Joe Kinnear, who has steadied the ship since arriving at the end of September.
"It has been a difficult few months, but the lads have got on with it well," Taylor continued.
"Joe Kinnear has come in as manager and taken the pressure off the players. He has given us confidence and we are much more confident as a team."