Ryan Taylor’s admitted sorry Newcastle United are approaching the “end of the line” – and in danger of crashing through the buffers and into the Championship.
Queens Park Rangers came from behind to beat John Carver’s side 2-1 at Loftus Road on Saturday.
We need a lot of characters. People need to know that what’s gone in the past – forget it.Ryan Taylor
And the result has left Newcastle needing to win their final game against West Ham United on Sunday to be certain of staying in the Premier League.
The club are just two points above third-bottom Hull City, who are at home to Manchester United.
Sunderland – who have a game in hand – are a point above United.
Newcastle haven’t won since beating Aston Villa, now safe along with Leicester City, on February 28, and the team’s second-half capitulation against QPR surprised few in the away end.
Taylor, on the bench when United were relegated at Villa Park six years ago, feels the one difference this time is that the team will have home advantage on the final day of the season.
“The good thing for us is that we’re at home,” said Taylor.
“I remember watching the game at Villa Park – I was on the bench that day – and we really lacked a lot of things that day.
“We’ve got to make sure that that doesn’t happen again. We can’t do what we did then. We’ve got to put things right, and just have a buzz around the stadium.
“Regardless of what’s gone on in the past, we’ve got to try and lift everyone this week, including the fans, to help us get over the line.
“We need a lot of characters. People need to know that what’s gone in the past – forget it.
“We can only go against what we have in front of us. It’s one game – against West Ham – and that’s the end of the line.”
Taylor readily admits that United shouldn’t be in this position, despite a series of injuries and suspensions which have decimated a squad which many supporters felt wasn’t strong enough last summer.
“We shouldn’t, no,” said the 30-year-old. “Not with the amount of experience and international players we have.
“Then again, you look at it, and maybe it’s a big confidence thing. We have a few players new to the league, and now we’re down to the nitty gritty, we really need characters now.
“Everything’s riding on it for the club.
“We’ll have chats this week, and I’m sure John will be putting his message across that if you don’t want to be under that much pressure, ‘come and see me’. That’s the type of guy he is.
“I’m sure the lads will respond. We had a half-decent result last week when we stopped those losses.
“We really thought we could build on it. We were two different teams in two different halves (against QPR).”
The club’s record during Carver’s time as head coach is dreadful – the team has won just two games – and many fans blame him for the club’s predicament.
Utility man Taylor, however, says the players must also take responsibility for Newcastle’s plight.
Asked if a lack of experience from Carver – who succeeded Crystal Palace-bound Alan Pardew at the turn of the year – was a factor, Taylor added: “John’s been around the game for a lot of time.
“It’s not that he doesn’t have the experience.
“Yes, it’s a big job, but it’s down to the players. We were unlucky to have those injuries, but we still had a lot of quality in the squad and we just haven’t done it.
“It’s down to us as a squad to put it right in the last game of the season – to stay up and then build on that, make sure it never happens again.”