Newcastle United: Taylor backed for England

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ALAN Pardew has once again urged England manager Roy Hodgson to take a look at Newcastle defender Steven Taylor after watching him withstand a battering from Stoke.

The 27-year-old, a former captain of his country at under-21 level, was one of the stand-out performers as the Magpies fought back from a goal down to defeat the Potters 2-1 in the Barclays Premier League at St James’ Park yesterday.

Magpies boss Pardew said: “He was immense today. Steven Taylor gave a performance of England standard today.

“They really do need to have a look at him at centre-half because I think it’s a problem position for England and his performance against [Peter] Crouch and everything else that they threw at us today - because we had no height in the team.”

Taylor’s hopes of winning recognition at senior international level have not been helped by a succession of injuries over the years, although he has been on the fringes of the squad in the past.

Pardew admitted earlier this season that keeping the Greenwich-born, Tyneside-raised defender fit is something which may require a tailored approach. However, he has few doubts about his ability.