16:05 26th April 2013
. . . for Swans ahead of Chelsea trip
Neil Taylor insists the Swans have nothing to fear as they prepare to face Chelsea on Sunday.
Michael Laudrup’s side head to Stamford Bridge on a run of just one win in six games since lifting the Capital One Cup.
However, en route to lifting the club’s first major trophy, the Swans overcame Rafa Benitez’s men in a pulsating semi-final – including a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge in January.
And Taylor believes that his team-mates should head to west London in confident mood.
“I don’t think any ground should hold any fear for us, particularly with the way we play,” he said.
“Chelsea will be desperate for the points at this stage of the season, so we know it’s going to be a very tough game and we’ll have to be at our best to get something.
“But we want to finish the season well and finish in the top ten – but we know it isn’t going to be easy because we’ve got some tough fixtures coming up.”
With five games left to play this season, the campaign is almost at its finale. But for Taylor, it is very much a new beginning.
After suffering a horrific injury last September, the Wales international made his return to the first-team squad last weekend as an unused substitute in the draw against Southampton.
And the left-back revealed his delight at being back amongst the group as he looks ahead to a summer of hard work.
“It’s great to be back,” said Tayls. “It has come late in the season, there are only a few games left, but this is all gearing up for next season and getting myself ready.
“I managed to come through all the reserve games which was good, but at Premier League level it is completely different.
“A full pre-season will give me a chance to play some games, but being back in the fold early has been a big boost for me.
“But after being out for so long it’s just great to be back amongst the lads and if the opportunity arises to play then so be it.”
Despite Taylor’s absence this season, young Ben Davies has filled the left-back void admirably.
The 20-year-old hadn’t played any senior football prior to this season, but the Neath-born youngster has turned in a number of outstanding displays for both club and country.
And Taylor was unanimous in his support for Davies, adding that next season’s battle for the left-back berth will be an exciting one.
“Ben has been great this season,” he said. “I love the fact that he’s a local lad and been given an opportunity and I’ve been right behind him.
“But next season is going to take both of us, particularly if we want to be successful and not falter like some clubs have.
“It is going to take the whole squad to play quite a few games, and it will be a good battle between myself and Ben.”