STEVEN Taylor thinks Newcastle will lose again on Sunday if they do not tame the “beast” that is Everton striker Romelu Lukaku.
The pressure is back on Alan Pardew after his team stretched their losing streak to four matches in all competitions with a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United on Boxing Day.
Ayoze Perez and Daryl Janmaat had chances to score for the Magpies and the visitors were unlucky not to be given a penalty in the first half when Juan Mata tripped Yoan Gouffran.
Sloppy defending allowed United to bag all three points, much to Taylor’s dismay.
The Newcastle defender felt his team-mates were too much in awe of the stellar cast of players on show for United.
“We made it far too easy for them. We showed them too much respect,” Taylor said.
“We should have been right in their faces and put a few tackles in during the first five or 10 minutes like we did against Chelsea.
“We need to put pressure on the opposition. We need to test them out.
“If you give them that much respect, anyone can look good and we made them look good.”
A repeat performance against Everton, could prove costly, according to Taylor.
The Toffees suffered a shock home defeat to Stoke on Boxing Day, but the Toon centre-back is wary of the talented players Roberto Martinez has at his disposal - chief among them Lukaku.
“He is an absolute beast - a top player,” Taylor said of the big Belgian.
“And they have players like (Ross) Barkley, another top player.
“They have good players left, right and centre that will hurt you if you give them time on the ball, so it’s up to us to stand up and put our head in the way.”
Pardew answered his critics with six successive wins earlier this season, but he knows another few defeats would lead to more questions about his future.
The Newcastle manager has not been helped by a string of injuries to key players, such as goalkeeper Tim Krul and midfielder Siem de Jong.
Pardew hopes they recover soon and he will also be looking to bolster his squad in the transfer window.
“We’ve got nine senior players not involved (against United) and it is too many. I’ve had that for a good two and a half months now,” Pardew said.
“I’ve got my medical team under full jurisdiction to get some bodies back and maybe in January we need to get one or two in to make sure we push on until the end of the season.”