By Tony Leighton
Cardiff City's former Middlesbrough full-back Andrew Taylor will face his old team in Saturday afternoon's npower Championship promotion battle in the Welsh capital aiming to prove his bold claim: "We're the best team in the league."
The Bluebirds, who ex-England Under-21 international Taylor joined from Boro at the start of last season, are in fact currently lying third in the table, one place and one point behind Boro who in turn are a point below leaders Crystal Palace.
So it's tight at the top, but 25-year-old Taylor insists: "We have the best team and squad in the league, with very good strength in depth. We've had four or five injuries recently, yet we've still got a strong enough team and bench to go and win games.
"That's important if you want to go on and win the league. Don't get me wrong, there are four or five teams in the league who are capable of getting promotion, but we've got a really strong squad and great staff and fan base behind us."
The Cardiff fans will be out in force to cheer their favourites as they look to equal the club's record run of nine successive league wins. But they will find it tough against Boro, whose boss Tony Mowbray has been named October's Manager of the Month.
Mowbray's men are unbeaten in eight Championship outings, collecting 20 points from the 24 available, and Taylor says: "It's vital to keep within touching distance of the top and so this is a very important game for us.
"If we win we'll go two points clear of them, but if we lose we'll go four points behind and you don't want to be playing catch-up. We'd obviously love to be five or six points clear, but that doesn't always happen."
Being five or six points clear at the top of the table by the end of the season is Taylor's aim, and as he looks to celebrate signing a new contract this week he is setting his sights firmly on playing for the Bluebirds in the Premier League next term.
"Getting a new contract is great," he said. "The club have shown their faith in me and likewise. It was a big move for me to come down to Cardiff but I settled very quickly, I'm enjoying my football and the club is moving in the right direction.
"We're ready for the Premier League and I want to be a part of that. We want automatic promotion, but you also want to win the league because it means you're the best - and there's no reason why we shouldn't go and win the league."
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