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Exposed Given was let down

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STEVEN Taylor has admitted Newcastle United’s outfielders let Shay Given down on the day the Irishman reclaimed his spot as the Magpies’ first-choice keeper.


The 31-year-old played in both United’s League Cup ties but had not made a league appearance until Saturday. He injured his groin in pre-season and was unable to win his place back from Steve Harper.


Despite a number of good saves, Given conceded three times at Eastlands after being over-exposed.


And Taylor said: “He put a good performance in against Arsenal (in Tuesday’s Carling Cup third-round defeat) and on Saturday he was unlucky with the goals. The last one he couldn’t do anything about. The lads are disappointed but we’ve just got to hold our hands up, forget about it and look to the future.” Newcastle led through Obafemi Martins but City hit back via Martin Petrov, Emile Mpenza and Elano. The first two goalscorers were unmarked, the latter hit an unstoppable free-kick.


“Things didn’t go well for us all over the park,” said Taylor. “We had a couple of good chances. We want to improve our away form, it’s three defeats on the trot away and we’ve got to put that right. We didn’t pass the ball as well as we can.


“They’re a good side but on our day we can match them. I believe we’re good enough to come to places like this and get a good result. Last season our away form wasn’t the best. It’s three (away defeats) on the bounce now and we’ve got put that right sooner rather than later.”


Meanwhile, Turkish midfielder Emre, an 88th-minute substitute on Saturday, insists he has not asked to leave Newcastle, while Jussi Jaaskelainen’s agent says the Finnish goalkeeper would welcome a move to Tyneside.


Jaaskalainen is out of contract with Bolton next summer and a proposed new deal has been withdrawn. “Jussi would be interested in joining a club like Newcastle, especially as Sam (Allardyce) was his best manager at Bolton,” said his representative, Peter Harrison.

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