Newcastle United boss Chris Hughton has defended his backing of Andy Carroll after his alleged clash with Steven Taylor last week.

Hughton plans to continue to show his support for England Under-21 striker Carroll by selecting him for tonight's critical top-of-the-table clash with Nottingham Forest.

If Newcastle win, they will go 13 points ahead of third-placed Forest.

He said: "My job is to manage this football club and this group of lads. Around that will always come decisions. I always pick the best team to win."

Meanwhile, Taylor's contract at Newcastle is up in 16 months.