Steven Taylor fired up by significance of Everton’s visit

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STEVEN Taylor would love to spend the rest of his career at Newcastle United, writes MILES STARFORTH.

But the defender admits he can’t look past the next game, with Everton visiting St James’s Park on Saturday.

Newcastle’s season, in manager Alan Pardew’s own words, is “in the balance”, with the club well-placed for a late assault on the top eight.

However, the Tynesiders are also still to secure their Premier League status.

And the sooner Pardew’s team pass the 40-point mark the better for Taylor, who feels there’s cause for optimism after another rollercoaster season.

With Everton, knocked out of the FA Cup by Reading at Goodison last night, just three points behind Newcastle, the game has an added significance.

“The main thing is we’re playing well, and we have put some good results together,” Taylor said. “We had a hard-fought win against Birmingham, and those are the teams we should be beating. Anybody below us or around us, we’re looking for a big result.

“We want to get a bit of a gap going. We’ve got some big games coming up here, and this isn’t an easy place to come still.

“We’ll concentrate on each game as it comes. We have players coming back, like Stephen Ireland and Shola Ameobi, so it’s a good bonus for us.”

Beyond this season, Taylor’s hopeful he can compete for trophies.

And the 25-year-old, having watched Ryan Giggs spend two decades in the Manchester United team, doesn’t see why he can’t spend the rest of his career at St James’s, having already committed himself until 2016.

Taylor, contrary to some reports, never wanted to leave, and he’s confident he can fulfill his potential at Newcastle.

“I have the best years of my career still in front of me,” Taylor added.

“I want to play the next five and a half years here, and then hopefully the rest of my career after that.”

Taylor’s representative had been embroiled in lengthy negotiations before the deal was agreed, and having put a difficult few months behind him, having been transfer listed in August, upbeat about his, and Newcastle’s, future.

“It’s the best feeling ever,” added the former England Under-21 international. “The new gaffer came in, and everything was sorted. I’m all set up now and excited about the future.

“That is my main focus now – I’m concentrated on the long-term.”