Steven Taylor looking for big things in Manchester City opener

Newcastle United started thier pre-season tour well and Steven Taylor hopes they can hit the ground running when the season begins

Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Steven Taylor of Newcastle United looks to evade the defence of Alex Brosque of Sydney FC
Steven Taylor of Newcastle United looks to evade the defence of Alex Brosque of Sydney FC

Steven Taylor believes Newcastle United are heading in the right direction after the Magpies polished off Sydney FC in a 4-0 win in Dunedin yesterday.

Goals from debutant Emmanuel Riviere, Siem de Jong, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and substitute Adam Armstrong sealed an impressive victory for the Magpies in the first game of their New Zealand tour.

Magpies defender Taylor played 76 minutes of the friendly against the Australian A-League side and kept up his bid to start the first game of the season against Manchester City next month.

Taylor knows Mike Williamson is ahead of him in the pecking order and is favourite to partner skipper Fabricio Coloccini in the opening game of the new campaign.

The long-serving defender spent last season as third choice centre-back.

He feels yesterday’s win over Sydney was vital to the Magpies’ progress.

Taylor said: “They held the ball very well. We knew they would keep the ball.

“We just needed the killer pass and we then caused one or two problems.”

Taylor is now starting his 11th season as a senior player at United. He admitted he feels like an elder statesman in the current squad. He insists the Magpies are focused on the season’s opener against the Premier League champions.

Taylor (pictured below) added: “Pre-season training for Newcastle is becoming harder for us.

“We just have to be ready for the City game at the start of the season.

“It was important to control the game and focus on what we wanted to focus on.”

Meanwhile, Sydney boss Graham Arnold was pleased with his side’s work-out but suggested Newcastle had been fortunate to win so comfortably.

He said: “It was fantastic. It was a wonderful experience for the boys. I just said to them in the dressing room I was very happy with the way we played. I think we gifted Newcastle three goals.

“Three of our mistakes led to goals for them.

For me the better opposition you play, you always learn more lessons. We can play against weaker opposition and think we are getting better and better, but there’s a long way to go.

“If you play against weaker opposition you don’t get away with so many mistakes.

“For my players, they see Premier League players on TV. For them to see the Newcastle players up front and personal, they see what they have to do to get to the top.

“We have a lot of youngsters and for them to be able to see at first-hand to see what these type of footballers are like is a great experience.”


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer