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Taylor admits tough going at Newcastle

Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor admits he is being forced to step up his game this season under manager Sam Allardyce.

"The competition for places in defence has been the fiercest its been for a long while and that's what you need," Taylor told The Journal.

"It's been different for me this season. Last season I was pretty much first choice centre-back, but the competition has heated up because of the players the manager has signed.

"It's part and parcel of playing at a club like Newcastle. It's up to me to compete with the other players and prove I should be in the team. I don't have a problem with the competition for places.

"It's the best group of defenders we've had in years. We've got people like Cacapa whose experience has been brilliant. There are quality players around so it's not a shock when I see I'm on the bench and not in the starting line up."

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