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Steven Taylor: We've got the stomach for relegation scrap

By Lee Ryder on Feb 23, 13 05:23 PM


STEVEN TAYLOR has insisted Newcastle United's French legion have got the stomach for tomorrow's big relegation battle with Southampton - especially now they have got over the Geordie culture shock and the hysteria of life in this football mad city.

The Whitley Bay lad - who is set to return to the starting XI against the Saints - is looking forward to United's French-themed party for the fans at St James' Park and is hoping that the Toon Army respond with a Chelsea-like atmosphere.

That day Moussa Sissoko helped raise the roof at the famous old stadium before confessing to Taylor along with Yoan Gouffran and Mathieu Debuchy that they have never seen anything like the Geordies.

Taylor - himself a former season ticket holder at the Leazes End - told the Chronicle: "It is French day and we're looking forward to that.

"The fans will enjoy that and make themselves loud and be heard.

"For us it gives us a boost - especially the French lads.

"They see what happens against St James' because they didn't know what it was all about.

"They seen it against Chelsea.

"They haven't got a clue what it was like here when they first came.

"I've spoke to a few of the lads and didn't expect the fans to be wild and crazy as they are.

"Especially some of the guys in the Sir John Hall Stand taking their tops of with NUFC written on their chest and big bellies hanging out.

"The fans are great here.

"They got their tops of in Kharkiv and it is absolutely freezing out
there so fair play to them.

"The French lads say the Geordies are crazy but they love it, that's
what it's all about."

The 3-2 win over Chelsea made the rest of the Premier League stand up and take notice of the Magpies after a slow start to the season.

And although Taylor knows has been given the billing of a relegation bout, he feels the fans can make the difference.

That was the case against Chelsea when the Magpies fought back from
2-1 down against the European champions.

When asked if the 12 th man genuinely help the team, he said: "Absolutely.

"The fans at the last game were spot on.

"I think we have to make sure we keep that up.

"We can't let teams frustrate us.

"If it gets to the 60 minute mark and it's level that's when St James'
Park can help us.

"Managers will come with a game plan to try to frustrate our fans.

"We can't let that happen."

Taylor sat out of the Europa League win over Metalist in the week but walked out of the Metalist Stadium smiling as a Newcastle fan.

He is now praying the feel-good factor continues.

He added: "With the win under our belts the winning mentality is there.

"We can look forward to the next game now and get the three points we need.

"I know the lads were disappointed down there last time because they beat us.

"So we want to put that right and I am confident we can do that.

"It is a game we have to win.

"We have to get that winning mentality back and push on this season.

"New players have come in and it has helped us.

"Now we have to kick on and have a better second half of the season.

"People keep talking about top 10 and winning the Europa League.

"But for us we just have to keep winning games and enjoying our
football and enjoying winning."

Profile

Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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