- Premier League
Taylor: Happy atmosphere at Newcastle
Newcastle defender Steven Taylor has said the atmosphere in the Newcastle squad is harmonious, despite their Premier League struggles last season.
Reports towards the end of the campaign had suggested there was division in the Magpies' ranks, but both the club and players were quick to deny those claims.
Taylor said the squad often socialised together, telling the Evening Chronicle: "We have nights where we play pool together or go to each other's houses.
"We have food together and watch games on TV. There is always something like paintballing or bowling. It is good having nights like that, because it brings the squad together."
Former England Under-21 international Taylor said he believed humour was vital in maintaining squad atmosphere, adding: "We have lads who enjoy each other's company and a bit of banter as well.
"We always play pranks on each other in the dressing room. I think you need that to brighten up the atmosphere.
"You can't always just have a serious head on - you have to try to make things different. That's what we do at Newcastle."