Steven Taylor

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Starting with Thursday's meeting with Maritimo, Newcastle face the prospect of four games in the next ten days - but you won't hear Steven Taylor grumbling.

The Europa League group stage match in Madeira will be followed in quick succession by fixtures against Norwich, Manchester United and Reading before the end of the month - and then another European clash against Bordeaux at the start of October.

However having waited five years to be back in continental competition, Taylor believes the hectic schedule in store for him and his team-mates is a small price to pay.

The defender trained at the Estadio do Barreiros on Wednesday afternoon ahead of taking on the Portuguese outfit, who finished fifth last term and are unbeaten so far this season.

And the 26-year-old insists that United can handle their crammed calendar - even though he admits so many matches in such a short period of time will be hard work.

"It is, but I think it's good," he told nufc.co.uk ahead of the game against Pedro Martins' men, who drew 1-1 with Sporting Lisbon last Saturday.

"It keeps everyone on their toes and it's something we're looking forward to.

"This is where we want to be - we want to be in Europe, playing against the best and testing ourselves. So we won't complain too much about the extra fixtures."

Taylor is hoping to make his 25th European appearance for the club against Maritimo. His continental debut came as a substitute against Real Mallorca in March 2004.

Click here to buy a Newcastle United shirt with Taylor's name and number on the back