NEWCASTLE United’s Steven Taylor says smashing his face off a goalpost didn’t hurt as much as losing the Tyne-Wear derby.
Alan Pardew’s side lost an unprecedented fourth successive game against Sunderland at St James’s Park today.
Adam Johnson’s 90th-minute strike gave Gus Poyet’s team a 1-0 win in the 151st meeting between the two clubs.
Newcastle had thrown caution to the wind as they pressed for a breakthrough in the second half.
Pardew replaced midfielder Cheik Tiote with an extra striker – Papiss Demba Cisse – and Sunderland broke quickly and in numbers after defending a corner.
Defender Taylor – who needed stitches after colliding with a goalpost when he made a goalline clearance – says all United can do is respond against in-form Manchester United at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.
“The fans are going to be hurting,” Taylor told the Gazette. “It’s hurt them, and it’s hurt us.
“It was flat in the changing room. All we can do is respond against Man United.”
Taylor needed lengthy treatment, and several stitches, after colliding with the goalpost.
The 28-year-old had to clear the ball at any cost – as Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher was ready to pounce.
Taylor, however, was determined to play on, and he returned to the pitch with stitches around his right eye.
“It was a little bang on the post,” said Taylor. “I got a little scratch on the face – the goalpost won! I knew he (Fletcher) was behind me, so I had to clear.
“I couldn’t come off – I had to play on. It hurts that little bit more now.”
United, after making a bright start, went on to spend much of the first half on the back foot, but they fought back strongly after the break.
Newcastle, however, couldn’t take advantage of a series of opportunities.
“We’re disappointed,” said Taylor. “For me, we weren’t quite good enough to win the game.
“We weren’t clinical enough. We were in and around them, but they’ve got a big keeper there, and everything was straight at them.
“It just wasn’t our day. We’ve been done off our own set-piece.
“We looked at it, and felt they were only going to score from our own mistake. It happened.
“Near the end, we probably should have shut the door at the back and taken a draw.
“The fans and everything us to get at them. I always cause them a few problems at the back – they didn’t want to touch me inside the box – but it just wasn’t to be.”