NEWCASTLE defender Steven Taylor last night praised supremo Derek Llambias for allowing boss Alan Pardew and his players to get on with their jobs.
Llambias and club owner Mike Ashley have incurred the wrath of large sections of the Toon Army for much of their time at the St James’ Park helm.
There was also a wrangle over bonus payments last season and the high-profile departures this summer of Kevin Nolan, Jose Enrique and Joey Barton.
But the bonus issue has been resolved and a growing sense of unity has seen the Magpies rocket to fourth in the Premier League.
Centre-back Taylor, whose form has been a key factor in an unbeaten eight-game run, explained: “Last season, we couldn’t come to an agreement about bonuses.
“We had a bit of a divide between the chairman and the players last year. That doesn’t help.
“At the start of this season, we sat down with the gaffer and he was great with us.
“He sat us down and gave the lads their bonuses for this season straight away.
“He has let us concentrate on the pitch and let the gaffer do his job.
“That’s what you want. It’s been good for us this season.”
TOON BARMY: Steven Taylor celebrates with hat trick hero Demba Ba during Saturday’s win over Blackburn
UNITED FRONT: Boss Alan Pardew has a happy squad