Hartlepool-born Cardiff City star in play-off with West Ham Utd

Andrew Taylor
Andrew Taylor

ANDREW Taylor will tonight begin his bid for a swift return to Wembley with Cardiff City.

The Hartlepool-born star has only just come to terms with the penalty-shootout heartache of the Bluebirds’ Carling Cup final defeat to Liverpool.

But Taylor could be back at the home of football later this month should Cardiff overcome West Ham in their Championship play-off semi-final (KO 7.45pm).

“It’s amazing to think that we could be playing at Wembley twice in one season,” the 25-year-old told SportMail ahead of tonight’s first leg at the Cardiff City Stadium.

“But before we can even think about that and what it could mean we’ve got to get past West Ham.

“And there’s no reason why we can’t. Yes, they’re probably favourites and they were favourites for the league at the start of the season.

“But they’re in the same division as us, they’re not invincible and we’ve already beaten them once this season.”

Cardiff booked their play-off slot at the expense of Taylor’s former club, Middlesbrough last weekend.

And the left-back believes his side’s 10-match unbeaten run gives them an advantage going into the extended season.

“I know it’s a cliché but we’ve got that momentum,” said Taylor.

“We’re on a good run of form and we’ve done the job getting into the play-offs.

“We’ve been solid throughout the year and we’ve won a lot of games.

“Confidence is high and we all believe that we can do it and win promotion.”

Taylor also feels that the experience of their two-legged Carling Cup semi-final victory over Crystal Palace – which also went the distance to penalty-kicks – stands them in better stead than their rivals.

“I’ve never been involved in the play-offs before,” he went on.

“But I think that semi-final against Palace has given us a great experience of what to expect.

“We’re at home in the first leg which is different to semi-final.

“But we won at Upton Park at the start of the season so we’ve nothing to fear going there in the second leg.

“It’s an exciting time for us because the prize at the end of it is the biggest in football.

“I’ve played Premier League football before and I want to be back there with Cardiff.”