Keegan hails defensive duo
Kevin Keegan is eager to build Newcastle's defence around Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini.
Last Updated: 18/08/08 4:30pm
Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan is eager to build the club's defence around Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini for the next five years.
The Magpies are well aware of Taylor's talents, while Coloccini was handed his debut in the unforgiving surroundings of Old Trafford.
The duo were hugely impressive in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United, with the Premier League champions only finding a way through when Taylor was off the field receiving treatment for an injury.
And Keegan said: "That could be our central defensive partnership for the next five years.
"They are both signed for that length of time, so now it is up to them.
"Yesterday was the first time they have played together and there are signs today that it could be quite a good partnership which may get even better."
Argentina international Coloccini only began training with his new team-mates on Saturday after his £9million move from Deportivo La Coruna, but slotted seamlessly into the side.
Keegan added: "I was not concerned about the fitness side but because we did not get the registration through until Friday he could not train with the group.
"But when I saw him train with the team on Saturday I knew he would love going to Old Trafford. He wanted to play. That was it."
Keegan is also anticipating some of Coloccini's experience will rub off on Taylor, allowing the defender to make the transition from England Under-21 duty to Fabio Capello's senior squad.
"I have told Steven to watch and learn," said Keegan. "I am sure he will because he has such a great attitude.
"He got a bad knock when we scored that would have seen a lot of players come off, but not Steven.
"If he does what we ask, he will make another step up and go from the Under-21s to where Coloccini is. The key is he wants to learn because some young players don't."