Steven Taylor

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Captain Fabricio Coloccini starts his three-match suspension against West Ham United on Sunday, but Steven Taylor has insisted that he and his team-mates can manage without the influential defender against the Hammers.

The Argentine centre-back was sent off against Liverpool last weekend meaning Taylor is likely to be partnered by Mike Williamson at St. James' Park this weekend.

Such a key player is bound to be missed, particularly on a day when Andy Carroll will return to Tyneside to face his former club, but ex-England under-21 skipper Taylor is confident that the skipper's enforced absence won't be too keenly felt.

Taylor and Williamson have started together three times in the Barclays Premier League this term, helping Newcastle defeat Norwich and draw at Everton and Reading, while they were also paired for the 0-0 draw at Maritimo in the Europa League so it has proven to be a successful partnership.

And a bullish Taylor told nufc.co.uk: "Other players will come in, we'll stick together and look ahead to the game. That's all we can do.

"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 has returned to his old stomping ground once already with Liverpool last season, while he has also played against United twice for the Reds at Anfield since his big-money move in January 2011.

But this will be Nolan's first playing visit to St. James' since he departed for East London and Taylor believes he will be given a warm welcome from the supporters who still fondly remember his hat-trick against Sunderland two years ago.

"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."

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