St James’ Park reaching new heights.
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has paid tribute to the defenders who have laid the foundation for the club’s fine start to the season.
The Magpies head into the international break in third place in the Premier League table after an 11-game undefeated opening to the campaign which has seen them concede just eight goals.
That is the best record in the division with even leaders Manchester City having shipped one more.
And in a season which has already seen some spectacular exploits in front of goal, Pardew believes his back four and keeper deserve all the plaudits they are receiving.
“There have been a lot of goals in the Premier League,” he said.
“There are some fantastic players and sometimes, as much as you can defend and have all your disciplines in place, someone can produce a bit of quality to unlock it.
“Fortunately for us, for whatever reason, that hasn’t happened too often, and long may that continue.”
Meanwhile defender Ryan Taylor is hoping to lose his versatile reputation and hold down a regular spot at left-back.
“I want to shake off that ‘Mr Versatile’ tag and be known as a left-back,” he told the Daily Star. “It’s great scoring goals, but I want to hold a regular position.
“When people start referring to me as a left-back, that’s when I’ll start smiling.”