RYAN Taylor has admitted he loves being part of a Newcastle United team that are feared by the rest of the Premier League.
And the versatile 27-year-old hopes this new -found respect will be formalised by the Magpies going on to clinch a Champions League place.
Taylor is thoroughly enjoying this rather unexpected rise in expectations for a squad which at the start of the season would have been considered, even by some of their own supporters, to be a midtable side.
Under Alan Pardew’s shrewd leadership, the team have only five games remaining for them to finish as one of the leading four in English football, as they fight it out for fourth spot along with Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea.
While actual silverware may be beyond Newcastle this time around, Taylor is delighted that his side have made their mark over what has transpired to be an incredible campaign.
He said: “I hope we are being taken seriously, because if you look at the squad we have, it’s a squad that is no pushover any more.
“We have got internationals all over the pitch and if anyone thinks they are going to play against Newcastle and expect an easy game, then think again.
“It’s nice to know that teams are starting to fear us, especially at home, because we have picked up a lot of points.
“We have only lost two at home this season, so it’s going well and it would top it all off if we could get into Europe. That would be some achievement in one season.”
Newcastle are back in action next weekend when Stoke come to St James’ Park. The Potters won on Tyneside last season, a feat only Chelsea and West Brom have managed this term.