Taylor future in doubt despite heroic winner
He may have been the toast of Tyneside on Saturday night, but Ryan Taylor's spell in the limelight could be a brief one.
His manager, Alan Pardew, has responded to Taylor scoring the winning goal in this fractious derby by stepping up his interest in Erik Pieters, the Dutch international full-back, whom he sees as the long-term replacement for Jose Enrique.
Taylor, a midfielder by trade, has performed admirably in an unfamiliar left-back role for Newcastle's first two games, ensuring immediate cult status with the only goal at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce criticised the positioning of his goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, but that should not detract from the latest addition to Taylor's growing repertoire of memorable set-pieces.
The scorer of four goals against his current employers while playing for Wigan, the match-winner was simply glad to redress the balance. "Hopefully that evens things up," he said.
Sunderland should have played most of the game with 10 men after the officials missed a clear early handball on the goal-line from Seb Larsson to deny Joey Barton.
The hosts still ended with a numerical disadvantage after Phil Bardsley earned a second yellow card late on for a crude lunge at Fabricio Coloccini. Bardsley was matched only by his captain Lee Cattermole in the recklessness of his tackling, another issue Bruce must swiftly address.
After his crucial error, Mignolet is increasingly under pressure from Irish international Keiren Westwood, recently arrived from Coventry, who will make his senior debut for the club in the Carling Cup at Brighton tomorrow night. (© Daily Telegraph, London)