STEVEN TAYLOR is not looking too far ahead after enjoying his time back in the spotlight at Newcastle United.
The locally produced defender has been back in the thick of things in the last two games with Manchester City and West Ham United because of Mathieu Debuchy’s suspension.
Debuchy is due to return to action at Norwich City next Tuesday, so manager Alan Pardew could leave Taylor or Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa out if he decides to recall the full-back immediately.
But Taylor, who revealed before Christmas that he could have to look at his options if he continues to sit on the sidelines, is hoping to retain his spot after helping the Magpies to a 3-1 win at West Ham last Saturday.
He has been linked with a number of clubs, particularly Queens Park Rangers on loan, but his response to those reports were “it’s all talk.”
Instead he is keen to focus on staying in the Newcastle team, even if he does not think the squad should be targeting anything too fanciful like a challenge for a Champions League spot just yet.
Taylor said: “Everybody can speculate what they want on where we might finish. The bottom line is we have to win our games.
“People will ask where we want to be, we just have to keep winning games. There’s no point looking too far ahead.
“For me that’s all that matters. What happens in the future you can’t plan, can you? You just have to keep going and try to win games now.”
Newcastle sit seven points off fourth placed Liverpool after the win at West Ham, which marked a return to winning ways following a four-match losing streak.
The triumph meant Pardew could take his squad to Abu Dhabi for a week’s training in warmer temperatures on the back of taking three points rather than a reversal.
Such trips can often infuriate supporters when things are not going too well, but Taylor things training in another country can actually help refresh the group for the second half of the campaign.
“It’s been nice to be playing again and I’m just happy to be winning,” said Taylor. “But sometimes you need a break if you have playing a lot of football. It helps everybody get 100 per cent fit.
“Many of the lads played all of the games over Christmas, this will allow us to regroup and get focused again for the remaining games.
“If we had lost at West Ham this break would not have been ideal timing, but the win has meant we can just concentrate on working hard, training hard in better weather.
“We must make sure that when we return we build on the training, the win at West Ham and I think we can because the lads are full of confidence now.”
After facing Norwich at Carrow Road next Tuesday, the attention will soon turn to the visit of rivals Sunderland to St James’ Park on February 1.
And Taylor thinks, even though Newcastle had suffered a dip in results recently, the manner of the displays suggest they will be ready for both games.
He said: “After the performance against Man City, we went to West Ham with our minds on it and that showed.
“In the first half we should have put the game to bed, but it was a great team performance. We caused West Ham so many problems in the first half.
“Even the defeats we suffered we played well. We were just unfortunate, we needed goals.
“That’s what we got at West Ham and we could have got a few more. It was always going to be hard. We outplayed them going forward and the quality we had fully deserved the three points.”