Ryan Taylor has praised the way in which Alan Pardew has established complete control of the Newcastle United dressing room following the departure of a number of influential characters last summer.

This time last season, the likes of Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and Jose Enrique were making their considerable presence felt and exerting a significant influence over the rest of the Magpies squad.

All three left St James' Park in the close season, and with Steve Harper and Alan Smith having also dropped out of first-team contention, the so-called 'players' committee' that was previously so prominent has effectively been disbanded.

In its wake, Pardew has strengthened his own authority, and without as many egos to balance, the Newcastle dressing room is now a much more egalitarian and tightly-bonded unit.

"There's no one in the dressing room on the scale of Kevin and Joey," said Taylor, who should be fit to return from a leg injury when the Magpies entertain Wolves a week on Saturday. "They were quite vocal, but I think as a team for some reason it just seems to work better.

"The manager has taken over from the likes of Kevin and Joey and that's how it should be."He's your manager and, if things aren't going well, he's the man you want to pull you aside. It's always nice when he is giving you compliments, but you have to take some criticism as well."

When the likes of Nolan and Barton departed in the summer, there was a fear that Newcastle's team spirit would disintegrate.

Instead, it appears stronger than ever, with the likes of Taylor, Danny Simpson and Tim Krul having emerged to play an increasingly prominent role in on and off-field affairs.

New signings such as Yohan Cabaye, Gabriel Obertan and Demba Ba have bought into the team ethos, with Papiss Cisse becoming the latest player to be assimilated into the squad when he completed a £9m move from German side Freiburg last month.

Cisse made an instant impact when he scored on his debut against Aston Villa, but Taylor feels it would be wrong to expect too much of the striker at such an early stage of his Premier League career.

"I'm sure the gaffer will have drilled into Cisse what this team's been about this season and what he wants from him," said the versatile defender-cum-midfielder.

"He's going to be a massive player from now until the end of the season and hopefully him and Demba can fire on all cylinders,

especially in the next few weeks.

"But you have to be patient when players come in from abroad. It was the same with Jose when he first came, and look at him now.

"You've got to give people time. He (Cisse) has played totally different football to what the Premier League is, but I'm sure his quality will come through."

Fabricio Coloccini was another overseas player to take time to settle into life on the banks of the Tyne, but having been handed the captain's armband at the start of the season, the Argentinian has quickly established a reputation as an effective skipper.

"Colo deserves the captain's armband he's got now," said Taylor. "I think when he first came he found it tough, but to come from where he has to where he is now is brilliant.

"He has settled in now and hopefully he will stay at the club for a long time. Colo's come a long way and he deserves that captain's armband."

Meanwhile, Haris Vuckic is hoping to extend his loan deal at Cardiff City until the end of the season.

Vuckic, who scored his first goal for the Bluebirds in last weekend's 3-1 win over Peterborough, is due to return to Tyneside in mid-March, but is hoping to remain in south Wales for as long as possible.

"I know Newcastle is my first team, but if I get the chance to play for Cardiff on loan until the end of the season that would be great," he said.

* Ryan Taylor was speaking at a Newcastle United Foundation event at Newburn Leisure Centre to launch a series of free football fun days for local children in the city.