Steven Taylor, Newcastleâ€™s England Under-21 captain has talked to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle today and admits there is still a lot of work to do at the back.
Steven has recently regained his place in the side having been dropped unceremoniously by Big Sam following his performance in the 3-1 away defeat at Manchester City in late September.
Stephen Taylor – work still to do in Newcastle’s defense
Steven told the Evening Chronicle today:
â€œWe need to sort things out, without a doubt.â€ â€œWe will watch the video of the Sunderland game and see how we can improve.â€
â€œWe have to defend better away from home â€“ we know that.â€ â€œWe also have to be a bit more solid at home, but our away formâ€™s our biggest concern this season, and it has to get sorted.â€
â€œIn our game at Sunderland I think we gave them far too much respect in the first half.â€Â â€œWe should have got in amongst them more as they were picking up every second ball. They controlled the game and we just seemed to sit back.â€
â€œWe will have a look at it, and see what we can improve on, but the main thing is that we did not lose.â€ â€œThe worst thing would have been coming off the pitch having lost and seeing those Geordie fans go home disappointed.â€
We have to admit we are surprised that stupid defensive mistakes are still being made at the back. The mistakes made by Cacapa, of all people, in the game against Pompey was particularly disturbing, because he looked to be the no-nonsense experienced defender Newcastle needed. It came out after the game that Cacapa may have been carrying a knee injury during that game. Claudio has indeed been unfit with a knee problem since that game. However, we donâ€™t know if it’s true he was carrying the injury, but we hope it is, because at least it explains Cacapaâ€™s terrible performance. But maybe thatâ€™s just wishful thinking on our part.
On the England scene, Taylor seems to be doing an excellent job with the Under-21s, with the team having won every game and not even conceded a goal since he became the captain. England have won their first four qualifiers and are at the top of their group.
And Taylor adds:
â€œWeâ€™ve got Bulgaria and then Portugal in Agenda on Tuesday night.â€ â€œWe beat Bulgaria in September, but we havenâ€™t played Portugal yet. They are a very good side, though they did get beaten by Bulgaria.â€
â€œWeâ€™ve got four or five injuries cropping up now, but we are still confident. We have a good group of players and itâ€™s going great, and long may that continue.â€
Steven’s looked very good in the last two Newcastle games and adds that determination and spirit that we need at this time, as we struggle to get things right at the back. But we cannot struggle for too much longer, because we cannot afford to drop too many more points, due to our defensive frailties.