Football

Taylor admits play-off heartache

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Defender Neil Taylor is determined to put his play-off heartache aside and impress for Wales on Wednesday night.

The 22-year-old should be with his Swansea team-mates this week preparing to play Reading for a place in the Barclays Premier League next Monday. However, the former Wrexham player must miss the npower Championship play-off final at Wembley through suspension after his sending off against Nottingham Forest in the semi-finals.

So while Swans team-mates Ashley Williams and Joe Allen have been excused international duty, Taylor has joined up with Wales for this week's Carling Nations Cup games against Scotland and Northern Ireland in Dublin. Taylor said: "Obviously it is a little bit of a funny situation."

He added: "I'd love to be there preparing for the final, but I've got my head around it now and this is a good distraction to have. I'm looking forward to these games."

Taylor is likely to play on Wednesday night with manager Gary Speed having said he will rest most of the Premier League players whose domestic season ended only last Sunday. He then intends to rotate his squad for Friday's encounter with Northern Ireland, bringing in the likes of regular captain Aaron Ramsey, Wayne Hennessey, David Vaughan, Neal Eardley and Danny Collins.


 

Speed is still looking for his first win in charge after defeats to the Republic of Ireland and England but Taylor has sensed a confidence in the squad.

He said: "He [Speed] is a great man to work under. He is approachable, and young and hungry, which is like a lot of the players that are here. He wants to do really well and everyone can see that with the set-up.

"He is working really hard and hopefully that is going to spread through to the players and in the years to come we can have a lot of success. We have got enough players to play two teams for the games. Obviously you would probably like an extra day for recovery (between games), but it will be a good thing - a chance for every single player in the squad to impress."

With former skipper Craig Bellamy also doubtful with a hamstring injury, Nottingham Forest striker Robert Earnshaw will lead out the side. The game at the Aviva Stadium is sure to evoke happy memories for Earnshaw having scored a hat-trick against the same opposition seven years ago.

Earnshaw said: "I remember it like yesterday. It was one of my most special moments. In 40-50 years time that will be one of the games when I think, 'I remember that night'."

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Topics:
Internationals
Football
Neil Taylor
Championship
Swansea City
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