STEVEN Taylor hailed his battling Newcastle United team-mates – after they came through the longest 16 minutes of his life!
Taylor was sent off against Premier League leaders Chelsea for a second bookable offence with less than 10 minutes left.
The defender brought down Andre Schurrle to stop him having a run on goal.
Newcastle were leading 2-0 at the time thanks to two goals from Papiss Demba Cisse, but visiting substitute Didier Drogba pulled one back to set up a nervous finale.
United also had to survive SIX minutes of added time, and Taylor – who will now miss Saturday’s league game away to Arsenal through suspension – watched the drama unfold from a TV in the dressing room.
He was frustrated he couldn’t help – and kicking every ball.
“The main thing was that the team won – the lads put their bodies on the line,” Taylor told the Gazette.
“It was a fantastic performance from every single one of them.
“I had it on in the changing room. I was just saying ‘hang on, hang on’.
“There was a lot of pressure, but the lads did exactly what we’ve been doing all game.
“We defended as a team, and were hard to beat. They worked hard and grafted. They chased everything.”
Taylor felt Newcastle got the balance right between defence and attack against a team which hadn’t been beaten in any competition since April.
“If you give them too much respect, they’ll annihilate you,” said the 29-year-old.
“It’s as simple as that. With the quality that they’ve got, they’ll hurt you.
“We had to take the game to them – we got after them. We caused them a few problems in the first half as well.
“They probably thought they’d come here, knock the ball around and get a few goals, but it wasn’t to be.
“We got after them down the sides, and showed some fighting spirit.
“I thought we deserved it – I thought we could have got a third. We looked dangerous. Everyone was delighted. It’s a good feeling beating a team like Chelsea.
“We’re just looking forward to the next game now.”