NEWCASTLE full-back Ryan Taylor insists the United squad now know and appreciate exactly what wearing the famous black-and-white shirt means because there are no doubts as to who’s in charge of the team.
Despite last weekend’s setback at Tottenham, this season has shown a United team pulling together as one unit – a marked contrast to last term, when the impression being conveyed by the St James’ Park dressing room was that it was packed with ‘too many chiefs and not enough Indians’.
Aside from the management – beginning with Chris Hughton and followed swiftly by current boss Alan Pardew – a number of senior players held sway and were very vocal about matters other than who they were playing on the weekend.
With Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and Alan Smith all being moved on, the only voice to be heard on team affairs now is Pardew’s and Taylor believes having it made clear to the team that there is only one boss has been a key factor in Newcastle’s rise to Champions League candidates.
He said: “There’s no one in the dressing room on the scale of Kevin and Joey, they were quite vocal, but I think as a team for some reason it just seems to work better.
“The manager has taken over from the likes of Kevin and Joey and that’s how it should be. He’s your manager and if things aren’t going well he’s the man you want to pull you aside, and it’s always nice when he is giving you compliments. However, you have to take some criticism as well.”
Taylor has also backed new boy Papiss Cissé to succeed at St James’ Park, but stressed that the fans need to be as patient with him as they were with the likes of Fabricio Coloccini and Jonás Gutiérrez.
The two Argentinians took their time in settling into life in the North East, but once they did, the duo duly cemented their places as key regulars in the first team and Taylor believes Cissé, given time, will be just as successful.
He added: “Colo and Jonás have been massive for this club.
“Colo deserves the captain’s armband he’s got now.
“I think when he first came he found it tough.
“But to come from where he has, the two of them have settled in now and hopefully the two of them will stay at the club for a long time.
“Colo has come along way, but he deserves that captain’s armband.
“You have got to be patient when players come in from abroad, I think it was the same with Jose when he first came too and look at him now. You’ve got to give people time.
“He played totally different football to what the Premier League is. I’m sure his (Cisse’s) quality will come through.
“I’m sure the gaffer will have drilled into Cissé what this team’s been about this season and what he wants from him.
“He’s going to be a massive player from now until the end of the season and hopefully him and Demba (Ba) can fire on all cylinders – especially in the next few weeks.” Taylor has been on the treatment room of late but states he should be ready in time for the Wolves game a week tomorrow.
“If we had a game this weekend then I might have been touch and go, but this way I can concentrate on next week now and I know I can be right,” he continued.
“So it’s nice for me, whereas for some players that might not be the case.
“I don’t feel like I have to rush back.”