Steven Taylor, who was deservedly named in the full England squad yesterday by Steve McClaren, thinks the Newcastle defense can still do better after looking quite solid last week at Bolton.
One way Newcastle can improve today against Aston Villa is to have a clean sheet – and that’s what Newcastle star Taylor wants today.
England manager Steve McClaren will be at the game, running the rule over Steven and the many English players Villa have in their side.
Steven Taylor - wants clean sheet today against Aston Villa
Steven told the Newcastle United web-site yesterday:
â€œOur fans at Bolton were fantastic and hopefully it can continue against Villa tomorrow night.â€ â€œI threw my shirt into the crowd at the end because they were so good at Bolton and really helped us.â€
â€œIt was a token of appreciation because they got behind us so well.â€
Taylor looked solid alongside David Rozenhal at the Reebok, but he knows there is great competition for places with Claudio Cacapa now pressing for a starting place after coming through a reserve game in midweek and looking to continue his glittering career at Newcastle.
â€œWe go into the Villa match on a high, but we are not getting carried away with ourselves.â€ â€œOver the last few years we have been slow starters, but this is the first time for a while we have started well.â€
We have had a week to recover from the Bolton game.â€ â€œWe set about Wanderers very well and won most of our second balls.â€
We will be looking to do that again when Villa come up here.â€
Speaking about two-goal star Oba Martins, Taylor added:
â€œOba has proved he wants to play for the club.â€ â€œWhat better way to show that than with two goals in the first game?
He has been playing out wide but I still thought he did a fantastic job, worked well for the team and scored his goals.â€
â€œThat is what we need, we need to work hard for each other.â€
â€œIf you have people working hard and putting their head on the line for each other, you have a great chance.â€
The work-rate against Bolton was second to none and that is what we are going to need.â€ â€œWe even had players on the bench who were desperate to get on the field, so it bodes well for the season.â€
Taylor revealed there is still a challenge left after last week’s efforts and that’s keeping a clean sheet after Nicholas Anelka ended any hope of that last Saturday.
â€œYou cannot stop concentrating no matter what the score is.â€ â€œThe only disappointment was Nicolas Anelka scoring because we have worked well defending set-pieces and they broke away and scored.â€
We already have something to improve on.â€ â€œWe want to eradicate stupid mistakes like that.â€
Nearly every member of the team tonight is under pressure for their position because of Sam’s strengthening of the squad. Add to that a great team spirit and commaraderie between the players and we have the mixture of competition and spirit that Sam was so good at creating at Bolton. A win tonight and Newcastle fans will be close to ecstatic when they read their Sunday papers tomorrow – with two wins in their first two league games for the first time in 10 years.