Neil Farrington has an excellent interview in today’s Sunday Sun with Geordie lad Steven Taylor, who of course has never ever wanted to leave Newcastle United, the club he loves.
Steven Taylor – with central defender and pal Coloccini
It’s like any local club, but especially at a football crazy place like Newcastle, that when you are growing up and support the black and whites, you become a fan for life, wherever that life takes you.
We started this blog three years ago especially for Geordie fans, who are now spread around the world, and the only thing that keeps us together is the love of Newcastle United Football club, even though at times it’s the hardest club in the world to support. You all know what we mean when we say that.
But this season has been great, and at last we have a bunch of players who seem to be like the fans – they give their all in every game, and that was missing so much last season, and we paid dearly for it.
We don’t know if we’ll get promoted, but if we do, it will be a huge, make that phenomenal, success for Chris Hughton and the rest of the training staff.
And although they may not get the credit they deserve, nobody will ever be able to take that away from them, and as Chris has already said, it will be the pinnacle ofd his coaching career.
Steven Taylor was born of Geordie parents in Greenwich, and moved to the north east when he was just a few weeks old, and of course was a ball-boy during the magical Kevin Keegan era.
He has come out today and said the reason for Newcastle’s significant success so far this season, is simply the way Chris Hughton communicates so well with his players and gets them to communicate too.
“To be honest, it (relegation) is probably what this club needed,” “We will now move forward for the better. This club has turned around.”
“He’s (Chris) a players’ manager. The players love him because he’s very respectful and listens to them. With him in charge, you don’t ever hear arguments about the place any more,”
“I always knew he’d make a manager – it was just a matter of when. I didn’t know he’d get a chance here, but he has and he hasn’t had the praise he fully deserves.”
“He also has a jokey side that you need as a manager – you can’t be straight faced all the time. It’s like Trigger out of Only Fools and Horses.”
“He is just an honest guy, and this season has been all about us as players being honest with ourselves. We always get together as a team and get things off our chest.”
“In the past few years, players kept things in or talked behind people’s backs, which caused arguments and upset some players who then haven’t gone out and performed.”
“The players who didn’t want to be here aren’t here. We were always in the papers, often for the wrong reasons. there was always something bad or negative happening, being said or being written.”
“This season, that hasn’t happened, because the players here care about the football club and aren’t silly enough to talk badly about it.”
“We realised right at the start of season that everyone was out to nail us, and we haven’t given them the satisfaction.”
And it is so true this season, that the lads have regained their fighting spirit, as witnessed in the very first game of the season at WBA, when we came back from 1-0 down at half time and battled back for a draw and could have even won that game.
As it turns out it was the only game we didn’t win in August.
“We went into that game just telling each other it was one we couldn’t afford to lose because we knew they’d be the one of the teams up there with us.”“We said to each other: just don’t lose.”
And the expectations of the team are much higher in the Championship, and it’s true that we can (and even should) win every game, and although that is not possible, that’s the standard – a game not won is points lost – and we just must keep those standards up as we start the league year off tomorrow night against WBA.
Steven went on:
“When you draw a game, in the position we are, it feels like a defeat,” “Sheffield Wednesday away, Derby County and QPR at home . . . those games could come back and bite us on the backside.”
“I never thought we would in the position we are now,” “I thought anywhere around the play-off area would be great, I think the fans did as well and I’m sure you (the Press) did too.”
“But we’ve dealt with everything which has come at us and our home record has been spot on.” “All we are thinking about now is getting back in the Premier League as champions.”
And while it’s true we will need to strengthen big time in the summer, to survive next season in the PL – should we get promotion – the very fact that we can fight and scrap in a game will stand us in good stead against the lower half teams like Bolton, Burnley, Wolves, Blackburn, Stoke and the like.
Something we couldn’t do last season.
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