Taylor excited by City test
The Magpies currently sit in third place in the table after an unbeaten 11-game start to the new campaign which has surprised almost everyone but themselves. However, their next three fixtures see them travel to leaders Manchester City and reigning champions Manchester United in successive weekends before fourth-placed Chelsea arrive on Tyneside in a run of games which will test their new-found confidence. Central defender Taylor said: "We are testing ourselves against the best teams in the league, the best players in the world, but this is why you want to be a professional footballer, to be playing on the biggest stage against the best players. "I keep reading, 'they haven't played anybody that's going to test them'. "Well, this is our chance and hopefully we can prove it." Saturday's game at the Etihad Stadium pitches the Premier League's most prolific attack against its meanest defence, and something will have to give as the likes of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli await Taylor and his colleagues. The 25-year-old said: "Every player they have got can cause you problems. The main thing is not to be too wound up about it. "We have to concentrate on our own jobs and do what we have been doing all season. "We are not focusing too much on Manchester City, we are more concerned about our own game. "We have been lucky in a few games this season, we have got a few results which might have been a bit lucky. "But last season, we didn't get that. This season, it has come off. Newcastle need that bit of luck now and again. "A few slip-ups from other teams have probably got us to where we are as well, but we will just keep plugging away." Newcastle have conceded only eight league goals to date this season, but will have their work cut out to maintain that kind of resilience against an attack which has scored at least twice in every domestic game during the current campaign. Manager Alan Pardew admits the quality available to opposite number Roberto Mancini makes that task all the more difficult. He said: "They carry a threat whatever tactical plan you have. You can park the bus and they could unlock you; you can come out and have a go at them and they will pick you off. "That's what a great team can do, they can deal with any scenario that we throw at them. "Having said that, we are unbeaten and we go there full of confidence and whatever game-plan we have, the players have good faith in it and will do their best to see it through. "I am hoping we cause them some problems." A positive result tomorrow would further increase expectation that this could be an exciting season for the Magpies, but Pardew is confident expectations are not spiralling out of control. He said: "I don't think they have, I really don't. Fans, when I have been around them, are just genuinely pleased with where we are. "They are realistic enough to know that if we can get something like two or three points from these three games, or even excel and get six points, seven points, we are going to find ourselves in a really strong position. "But talk of the Champions League and competing for the title are ridiculous for us at the moment." Newcastle will be without Cheik Tiote and Sylvain Marveaux through injury, while Leon Best and Gabriel Obertan remain doubtful.