STEVEN TAYLOR insists Newcastle United’s players were not affected by supporters’ protests during Saturday’s win over Cardiff City, but the defender has stressed a need for patience inside St James’ Park.
Taylor scored his first goal since the last day of the 2010/11 season to help the Magpies to a 3-0 victory over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, who were relegated to the Championship as a result of their defeat on Tyneside and Sunderland’s win at Manchester United.
While the Magpies signed off their home account with a comprehensive win, the feeling inside St James’ Park was far from happy as supporters staged two walk-outs with hundreds leaving their seats in the 60th minute and hundreds more in the 69th in protest against the club’s hierarchy.
A significant chunk of the 50,000-strong crowd stayed where they were, but by the time players went round the stadium in a lap of appreciation to their fans after the final whistle, many had already left.
On top of the walk-outs there were chants aimed at owner Mike Ashley and Pardew, who chose to take refuge in the dug-out leaving assistant John Carver to bark out instructions for the majority of the afternoon.
The Magpies boss was also missing from the lap of appreciation, but despite the hostile atmosphere Taylor believes the team stuck to their game plan even if it didn’t always include playing the way supporters would like.
“We just wanted to go out there and win the game and we could not let other matters affect us,” the defender said. “I thought the lads stuck to the game plan. I know the fans wanted it moved forward more but I thought it was a winning performance. Sometimes in recent weeks, we've been trying that one extra pass which we don't really need.
“The players just wanted to get that win. In the last couple of weeks, we have been playing some good football but have been struggling to score goals and things haven't gone well for us, hitting the bar, the post, whatever. But against Cardiff, everything just fell right for us. From defence through midfield to the strikers, it all worked for us.
“I don't think it affected the players although I thought the fans looked a bit nervous but for us, we targeted a few things with Cardiff and stuck to our game plan, concentrated on that and tried to kill the game dead when sometimes the fans want us to attack a bit more but we just had to make sure we got the three points and keep a clean sheet which was vitally important.
“Everyone inside that dressing room was happy. We got the three points and we've been trying to do that for weeks now and we haven't managed it but I thought everyone stuck together.”
Taylor scored Newcastle’s final goal after Shola Ameobi and Loic Remy had netted in what could have been both players’ last appearances for the club at St James’ Park.
The Greenwich-born defender’s future has also been the subject of speculation over the last 12 months having dropped down the pecking order behind the likes of Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, but as far as Taylor is concerned he will be at the club next season.
He said: “Hopefully, next season, we will bounce up and get even better. I'm under contract for another couple of years. It's been a frustrating season for me - that Man City game (Taylor was sent off at the Etihad Stadium on the opening day of the season) killed me but I am looking forward to Liverpool game and then kick on next season.”
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger insists he did not know Newcastle striker Remy was at the Emirates on Sunday to watch Arsenal’s 1-0 win over West Brom.
The French international, who scored his 14th goal of the season at the weekend, has been heavily linked with a move to the Gunners in the summer.
Wenger has continued to be coy over the possibility of signing the 27-year-old from Queens Park Rangers, and insists he was in the dark over Remy’s attendance at the weekend.
He said: “Honestly, I have just been informed that Loic Remy was here, I didn’t know.
“So don’t see any sign of us signing Loic Remy in that. I hope he has paid for his ticket!
He added: “No [I didn't invite him], that’s why I tell you I have not invited him.”