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Exclusive: Ex-Newcastle captain Taylor says Rafa, Pardew match Sir Bobby

In an exclusive interview with Tribalfootball, former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor has revealed his thoughts on the current managerial status at St James' Park, suggesting that Rafael Benitez and Alan Pardew stack up to Sir Bobby Robson.

Taylor spent most of his professional career at St James', playing under the guidance of all three manager.

And while they have their clear differences as managers, Taylor lauded their experience and the training environment they created. Taylor played for a few months under Benitez before being released by the club in June 2016, yet he still sees the contributions paying dividends despite results not going Newcastle's way.

"Rafa is an unbelievable manager, and I think it'll get even better if he's given more time at the club," Taylor told Tribalfootball in an exclusive interview.

"The feel-good factor he's brought into the dressing room is probably the closest that Newcastle have had to Sir Bobby Robson.

"I think they've been a little bit unlucky, especially the penalty against Chelsea I thought that was a bit harsh. But it's all about having good relationships and creating the atmosphere that players look forward to coming into. Even though there's been a lot who've doubted the team and the manager, the players have improved."

On the contrary, his relationship with Pardew was much stronger in the 4 years they spent together. Spending time as an important starting player, and an assistant while injured, Taylor says that Pardew came into the club with the odds stacked against him and still turned it into success.

"There were doubters from the beginning when he was hired, the fans didn't want him in the beginning. That wasn't important for him, he got what he needed out of players and helped create some fantastic players you'd never heard of. We had a great couple of seasons under Alan, we finished 5th and made the Europa League in 2012 which was such an incredible achievement.

"I had a great relationship with Alan, we worked hard together on the training pitch and bounced off each other. It was frustrating to see him go as a player, but only he can tell you why he left. As a professional footballer, you've gotta accept the things that happen behind closed doors are out of your control and that's part of the gig."

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Chris Sermeno

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