ALAN Pardew praised Newcastle United’s resilience as two more key men face possible long spells on the sidelines.
United’s worst fears were not realised on the Ryan Taylor injury, which was confirmed as bruising and ligament damage rather than a broken bone – although Leon Best faces weeks out with medial knee ligament damage sustained in the opening quarter of an hour.
They are added to a long list of absentees that Newcastle have managed to put to one side to continue their march on fifth place in the Premier League table.
“(The work-rate) is a feature of, not just our team, our squad. We work hard every week trying to emphasise how important the work-rate in terms of in-possession, out of possession is,” Pardew said.
“We make sure the players know – we stick it on the board and make sure they can see each other, so if you are not quite up on those figures, all the other players are going to know, so you best put your performance in. Little things like that all add up, but we have got a good discipline in that dressing room and a camaraderie that keeps us nagging away at the top of the division.”
United will now go to Tottenham on Saturday with nothing to lose, having built on a win at Blackburn that moved them momentarily into fifth place.
“We are a big club and although a few pundits at the start of the season tipped us for relegation, I will let them decide where we are going to finish,” Pardew added.
“For us, it’s about Tottenham, and the one beauty of the result today is to go to Tottenham and let our hair down.
“We will have a go and if we are beaten, we are beaten, but we will certainly try to go and win the game there.”
Pardew will re-assess Taylor after swelling on his ankle subsides. He is hopeful that the club will not lose a man who has impressed in a variety of roles this season.
He said: “We think Ryan is okay in terms of a break or fracture. He has had an X-ray and he has got a large swelling there, and we hope he is going to be okay.
“It’s one of those where that swelling could go quite quickly and it could be okay, and I hope so because he is having such a great season for us.
“It would be a shame to lose him to injury.”