Newcastle defender Taylor: Ashley deserves credit for strong season start

Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor has paid credit to much-maligned chairman Mike Ashley for their impressive start to the season.

Taylor says Ashley's willingness to sort out bonuses before the start of the season boosted morale.

He said: "We will definitely benefit from stability. Last season the chairman and the players couldn’t come to an agreement about bonuses. We had a bit of a divide and that doesn’t help.

"At the start of this season we sat down with the gaffer and I think it’s important that you have the chairman on your side.

"He’s been great with us. He sat us down and gave the lads their bonuses for this season straight away.

"He has just kept himself to himself, hasn’t bothered the players — has let us concentrate on the pitch and let the gaffer do his job. That’s what you want and it’s been good for us this season. We will not get ahead of ourselves. Yes, we’ve had a great start but we’ve just got to go ahead and continue it now — the lads will look at the next game and that’s Wolves.

"We’ve got players coming back from injuries — Hatem Ben Arfa and Davide Santon — which can only boost the squad and the competition the gaffer has. It means he can say, ‘Look, if you’re playing well you stay in the side'.

"That’s what the lads have done and the players have repaid him."

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