Confidence key for Newcastle, says Taylor

Ryan Taylor is hoping Newcastle United's players can rediscover a feel-good factor ahead of the new Premier League campaign.

Alan Pardew and his side came in for heavy criticism after Newcastle's form dipped alarmingly in the second half of last season.

Although Taylor was unable to take the field due to injury, having ruptured the cruciate ligament in his right knee for a second time, he witnessed a drain in confidence within the dressing room as the club limped to a 10th-placed finish.

The 29-year-old full-back, who is close to returning following almost two years on the sidelines, has therefore outlined the importance of restoring belief when the 2014-15 season gets under way.

"Those last weeks were quite tough," Taylor told the Shields Gazette.

"I was in the dressing room day in, day out with the lads. It’s quite tough on them. Confidence wasn't there. Everyone was getting on top of them.

"We've just got to try and build on the first six or seven months of [the previous] season. We've got to try and get to a better place."

Newcastle will kick off their Premier League season on August 17 with a home game against champions Manchester City.