Taylor-made for Toon
Pardew salutes defensive duo Steven and Ryan
Last Updated: November 4, 2011 2:48pm
Ryan and Steven Taylor: Defensive duo have helped Newcastle make an unbeaten start to season
Alan Pardew believes the contribution of Steven and Ryan Taylor has been instrumental to Newcastle's unbeaten start to the season.
The Magpies are riding high in third after 10 games of the campaign and victory over Everton in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off could see them move above Manchester United into second, temporarily at least.
The displays of the two Taylors have been impressive, with Steven in particular impressing to the extent that his club manager has tipped him for England recognition under Fabio Capello.
The 25-year-old central defender was born in Greenwich but raised in the shadow of St James' Park and Pardew believes he has a special affinity with the club.
He said: "Steven definitely has a feeling for the club above other players, without a shadow of a doubt. Little things he says and does - he knows.
"He's been here through some of the good years, so he knows that this is a big, big club and if we can get a competitive team, then the fans can carry us to who knows where."
The former England Under-21s skipper's partnership with captain Fabricio Coloccini has been one of the features of Newcastle's fine start.
However, namesake Ryan's role has been no less significant, if slightly more unexpected.
The 27-year-old arrived at St James' in February 2009 as a right-sided utility man, but was pitched into the unaccustomed territory of left-back in the wake of Jose Enrique's departure for Liverpool when James Perch suffered an injury on the eve of the opener against Arsenal.
After a shaky start, the former Wigan man has grown into the position to such an extent that he has played every minute of the league campaign to date, and his winning goal at Sunderland in August earned him a special place in the hearts of the Toon Army.
Pardew said: "I'm absolutely delighted with him. He has got a real confidence about him.
"The one thing we always knew is his technique is top, top quality. He has just fitted in and seems more comfortable at left-back than he does anywhere else.
"He has proved to a lot of people in the squad that I have here that you must always train hard every day even if you are not in the side because if you get the chance, you can take it and I will remain faithful if I think you are doing a good job for the team."