Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has warned European hero Ryan Taylor he may have to be patient as he attempts to force his way into the team after scoring the equaliser in their 1-1 draw with Atromitos.
The utility man was handed a start at left-back in Greece and produced a trademark free-kick to ensure the Magpies return to Tyneside for the second leg of their Europa League play-off with a potentially valuable away goal. However, Taylor could still find himself on the bench at Chelsea as Newcastle return to domestic action having rested nine senior men.
Pardew said: "When we trained here he [Taylor] hit three or four better than the one he scored with. I should think in the Premier League there are not too many players at dead balls who have the accuracy of Ryan."
The Magpies boss added: "He is desperate to play in the first team, but he has got some good performances from Saturday's game against Tottenham in front of him, so he has got to be patient. When he gets his chance, what more can he do? He played very well - and hopefully there are a few more of those, please."
Taylor's sweet strike, which came a year and three days after he established himself as a Geordie hero by firing the Magpies to victory at Sunderland, dragged his side back on to level terms two minutes into first-half injury time. He struck from 25 yards with a viciously curling free-kick after midfielder Matias Iglesias had been pulled up for a rugby tackle on Dan Gosling.
But until that point, the visitors had looked distinctly second best, with German midfielder Denis Epstein having made the most of full-back James Tavernier's inexperience to fire Atromitos into a 24th-minute lead.
However, Newcastle gradually got to grips with the game, which was played out in energy-sapping heat at the Peristeri Stadium, and might have won it through substitutes Romain Amalfitano and Adam Campbell, the latter of whom set a new club record as the youngest player to figure in a European game at the age of 17 years and 236 days.
Pardew said: "Our pre-season prep, you could argue, served us well because they let us have possession for long periods of the game, and we moved the ball and made them work really hard and took the sting out of the game a little bit.
"In the second half, I was a little bit disappointed we didn't get the win - I thought there were good opportunities - but overall, I was very, very pleased with the performance."
Opposite number Dusan Bajevic knows his side's task is difficult, but he was in no mood to concede defeat. He said: "We cannot say we are going for the win, but we are not going there to be defeated either. Newcastle are the favourites, but that does not mean we are going to out put hands up and surrender."
- the Magpies