NEWCASTLE United can use a ‘kick up the backside’ to help them beat Premier League title challengers Manchester City this weekend.
That’s the view of defender Steven Taylor, after the Magpies were dumped out of the FA Cup by Cardiff City.
Alan Pardew’s men now have only the league and the quest for European football – something which placed damaging demands on their resources last season – for which to play.
They resume next weekend when title challengers City head for Tyneside to face a side which has lost its last three games in all competitions.
But Taylor believes victories against Premier League big boys Man United, Chelsea and Spurs already this season has shown they shouldn’t fear Manuel Pellegrini’s side – despite the Cardiff blow.
He said: “The next game, Manchester City, is a team that’s challenging for the title. Like we have proven before, we have beaten the top sides, so they are going to come here and they are going to have a difficult game.
“It’s a kick in the backside for us, but we will bounce back. We will work hard for the City game.”
Taylor will be hoping he keeps his spot against City – and give himself the opportunity to make amends for his moment of madness against the same opposition in the first game of the season.
The 27-year-old was sent off before the break for an elbow on Sergio Aguero as the Magpies opened their season with a 4-0 defeat.
Suspension and then injury meant the Cardiff game was his first appearance for the senior side since that opening weekend.
With Fabricio Coloccini injured and Mike Williamson rested, Taylor partnered Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in central defence, and one of those two will partner Williamson against City .
Taylor added: “It’s been great being out there and getting that opportunity again. There’s no better place, in front of those Geordies, so it was great for me to be out there.
“But I am just devastated we lost.”