Steven Taylor shrugs off England disappointment

HEADS UP ... Steven Taylor beats Everton's Louis Saha to a high ball.
HEADS UP ... Steven Taylor beats Everton's Louis Saha to a high ball.

IN-FORM Steven Taylor today shrugged off his England disappointment – and pledged to redouble his efforts for Newcastle United.

The defender has been superb so far this season alongside Fabricio Coloccini, with the Magpies’ back four still the best in the Premier League after Saturday’s 2-1 win over Everton at St James’s Park.

And United manager Alan Pardew has backed calls for the former England Under-21 captain to be given a chance at international level.

Match report: Newcastle United 2 Everton 1

But England coach Fabio Capello – who has never been to St James’s Park to watch a game in his three years in charge of the national team – again overlooked the 25-year-old yesterday.

Instead, Capello called up John Terry, Phil Jones, Phil Jagielka, Joleon Lescott and Gary Cahill for the friendlies against Spain and Sweden.

While keen to represent his country, Taylor’s philosophical about his exclusion from the England squad.

“If I’ve got my team-mates, my manager and the fans behind me – that’s the most important thing,” Taylor told the Gazette.

“The manager said some nice things, which is fantastic.

“I’ll just keep playing week in, week out, and hopefully we’ll keep getting results. I’ll let other people do the talking.

“My team-mates and manager have stuck by me, and the fans have been brilliant. Credit to them – I’ve got to thank everyone for helping me.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s the greatest honour for a professional footballer to be called up for your country.

“If that chance comes along, I’ll relish it. I’ll just keep working hard and hopefully playing well for Newcastle, and see what happens.”

The Everton result in the early kick-off saw Newcastle, briefly, climb to second in the table before dropping back to third after Manchester United’s victory over Sunderland later in the afternoon.

Pardew’s side have made their best start to the season since 1994, and supporters are dreaming of a return to Europe. And Taylor said: “We’re doing all right – who’d have thought we’d be here after 11 games?

“It’s a big confidence booster, and something the lads needed.

“We have a small squad, and it’s all helping us confidence-wise.”

Taylor watched the 1994/95 season as a young supporter, and he added: “I was in the Sir John Hall stand with my dad in that season.

“The team then was very special. To be level with them is something to be proud of. It is some achievement for this team.

“We were reminded beforehand that we could make history.”

Meanwhile, Capello also left former Newcastle striker Andy Carroll out of his squad.

Follow Gazette Newcastle United writer Miles Starforth on Twitter