Steven Taylor defiant in defence of Newcastle's La Manga trip

Steven Taylor

The Magpies defender insists that the sunny getaway will be a valuable bonding exercise for the players ahead of the survival run-in.

Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor has defended the squad's training to La Manga, insisting to the Chronicle that it will help the players maintain their focus and form a closer bond in the long break between matches.

The Magpies do not play again competitively until the start of March, and Steve McClaren has flown his squad out to the inviting destination to undergo work and training matches in a different environment.

The trip has received criticism from some who suggest that it is in poor taste given the club's perilous situation, and the 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Chelsea last weekend only increased this scrutiny.

However, Taylor, who is just returning from a knee injury, insists that it is a valuable exercise rather than merely a sunny jaunt.

The 30-year-old told the Chronicle: "Coming away from the training ground is something different for us and we need that. It’s a horrible place to be when you come off the back of a defeat.

"I think for us it’s game time for the players who haven’t played, like myself. We have a game out there, we’ll be doing plenty of running and looking at the goals [the club conceded against Chelsea].

"Every game is difficult now. For us we have to get on with it. We have to believe in ourselves, the lads need to do that."

Newcastle have won just two of their last nine Premier League matches, and have consequently slipped further into the relegation battle.

The North East club are in the bottom three on goal difference, and are just a single point ahead of local rivals Sunderland.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch