Steven Taylor: Newcastle will achieve Premier League survival
18 May 2009 01:11
The England Under-21 skipper has remained optimistic about the Tyneside club's prospects of safeguarding their Premier League status thanks to memories of their last encounter with Villa.
Newcastle beat Villa 2-0 last November at St James' Park, thanks to two goals from Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins, and Taylor is confident that his team can reproduce a similar performance at Villa Park on Sunday.
That might be enough to lift Newcastle out of the bottom three above Hull, although fifth-bottom Sunderland could still be in their sights if their arch-rivals fail to beat Portsmouth at Fratton Park.
But Taylor and his colleagues will have to lift themselves after they lost one of their Premier League lifelines in the 1-0 defeat by Fulham last weekend.
'We were just devastated,' Taylor said. 'It was there for us. Bolton were winning against Hull and that was an incentive at half-time.
'It's down to us as players. It's important we stick together. It's disappointing for us with this result.
'But the last game of the season is Aston Villa and there no reason why we can't do it.
'We beat them here 2-0 earlier this season and with the right sort of performance we can do it.
'If we show the same belief and confidence we did against Middlesbrough we'll be okay.
While Newcastle face Villa, Hull will take on champions Manchester United at the KC Stadium just three days before the Champions League final against Barcelona, which means Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to field a weakened side in East Yorkshire.
Taylor, though, is refusing to be down-hearted, stating: 'Man United are a top-class side, no matter what team they field. They'll want to win and go out in style. We just have to focus on our jobs.'
Newcastle team-mate Jonas Gutierrez is also doing his best to stay upbeat despite the disappointment against Fulham.
'We can still do it,' the Argentine winger said. 'There's still a chance and we can't give up now.
'We wanted to go to Villa with the situation in our own hands. It's a disaster that we lost against Fulham.
'It now depends on the last game. We have to be prepared for it. We need three points now I think 'We've now got to hope for good fortune at Villa.'