STEVEN Taylor has praised the Duracell bunnies who have powered Newcastle United to third in the Premier League.
Demba Ba’s second hat-trick of his debut season propelled the Magpies to victory at Stoke City on Monday – only the second league defeat the Potters had suffered at the Britannia Stadium in 2011.
Sky TV pundit Gary Neville surprisingly decided Ba should share the man-of-the-match honours with Jonás Gutiérrez, a choice team-mate Taylor applauded.
Former England defender Neville was impressed by the Argentinian winger’s work-rate, and centre-back Taylor was at pains to stress it is an ethic which runs throughout the team, but is epitomised by wide men Gutiérrez and Gabriel Obertan.
“The stats show we are all definitely working harder than we have in previous years. Definitely,” said Taylor, who played the game wearing a mask to protect his broken nose.
“With and without the ball we get through a lot of work. We try to get the ball back as quickly as possible.
“I would imagine Jonás, for example, would have got through about 15 or 16km at Stoke. He was unbelievable. He was non-stop, but even in training he has a phenomenal work ethic. Even Obertan on the other wing works extremely hard.
“The players we have got just never stop running. They just keep going and going and going. I would like to compare them to a Duracell battery because I think a Duracell battery would conk out before those two.
“The wingers were a massive part for us. Jonás and Obertan were on fire for us, but overall everyone works hard, from the forwards all the way back.”
Unbeaten after ten league games, Newcastle are putting to shame some of the richer clubs and more talented squads below them in the table. Taylor stressed, though, that any let-up in effort will be costly.