Report: Rafa Benitez to drop Steven Taylor for the rest of the season

Taylor has played three of the four games Benitez has been in charge for but Newcastle remain six points from safety.

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has lost patience with central defender Steven Taylor, according to a report in The Times, meaning the former captain may have played his last game for the club.

Taylor put in another poor performance during the 3-1 defeat to Southampton at the weekend, which leaves the club six points from safety with six games left to play.

Benitez substituted Taylor at half-time and the report says that the 30-year-old is unlikely to be called upon unless the side suffers more injuries between now and the end of the campaign.

Taylor's current contract expires in the summer, and after a wretched injury record of late, his is unlikely to be offered a new deal for beyond this season.

Certainly something needs to be done at the back Newcastle's calamitous defending continues to cost the team, and although some will feel it is a big call for one of the most experienced defenders to be isolated, it is the time of the season where some decisive action needs to be taken if they are going to somehow turn things around and give themselves a chance of survival.

In each of their last three games, Newcastle have managed to find the net but have yet to keep a clean sheet under Benitez - a manager who has always prided himself on organisation and discipline at the back. It seems that he feels Taylor is such a weak link that he cannot be trusted with a starting place between now and the end of the campaign.

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