Despite only joining West Ham last weekend, Matt Taylor already senses there is something special brewing at Upton Park under the stewardship of Sam Allardyce.
The former Bolton and Blackburn boss has made quite an impression during his brief time in east London, and has already pulled off the notable signings of Kevin Nolan and, latterly, Taylor.
It is no surprise then that Hammers have been installed by the bookies as the favourites to win the Npower Championship next season, and seal an instant return to the Barclays Premier League.
Taylor certainly feels the club are worthy of their favourites’ tag, but expects the campaign ahead to be a supreme test for him and his new teammates. "We are under no illusions that it will be a difficult season," Taylor told whufc.com.
"There are some big teams in the Championship all vying for those spots to get into the Premier League. I think if we get a good start and try to keep going from there, then we have a great chance.
"I am confident in the ability in the squad that we can give it a good shot. The manager still wants to add to the team, so that can only be good and I think we can have a good go at it all. I am confident for the season ahead.
"As I have said, West Ham is a huge club - it is massive and I just want to be part of it all here. There is something special here and hopefully we can give these wonderful fans of ours something to cheer about."
The 29-year-old made his first appearance for West Ham since completing a move from Bolton, as the Irons ran out 1-0 winners over Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night. And the versatile left-sided defender was pleased to get going so quickly after his arrival.
"It was good to be out there," he added. "Dagenham are a good team, they made us work, it was nice to win. "My fitness is fine.
"I think a majority of players don't lose too much fitness in the summer so it is not too bad coming back into it all. I would like to think I am in good condition and it is about match fitness now."
He added: "I have had no problem settling in with everyone, it is not been a problem for me. You do feel like the new boy at school on your first day, but I feel good here.
"I am very happy, I am a southern lad and it gets me closer to home to my family which is also a big part of my life."
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