sport

Taylor: We'll pull together

Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor believes the squad is strong enough to handle the absence of Fabricio Coloccini when they come up against former striker Andy Carroll on Sunday.

Carroll and his West Ham United side make the trip to St James' Park looking to continue an encouraging start to the season following their promotion back to the Premier League.

Captain Coloccini starts his three-match suspension after being sent off against Liverpool but Taylor has no concerns about the Magpies' ability to cope.

"Other players will come in, we'll stick together and look ahead to the game. That's all we can do," he told the club's official website.

"I think West Ham are a very, very good team and the formation they play has worked for them and their style of play as well.

"So it's going to be a difficult game, we know that, but it's at our place and they're going to be more worried about what our players have got.

"But it's going to be tough with Andy Carroll coming back and Kevin Nolan coming back, both wanting to prove a point."

Carroll had a successful stint with Newcastle before leaving for Liverpool in January 2011, and Taylor thinks he will be given a warm welcome by fans.

"Without a doubt," the 26-year-old said. "His service here was brilliant and what a great guy he was.

"He was fantastic for this football club."