Swansea must find concentration against small teams too, admits Neil Taylor

The Wales international full-back concedes that his side are more motivated against the Premier League's elite and is happy to stay and fight Ben Davies for his place
By Atanu Mitra

Swansea City full-back Neil Taylor feels that his side must improve their concentration in 2013-14 to do as well against the smaller clubs as they do against the Premier League's best.

Michael Laudrup's side took points from Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in their Capital One Cup-winning season, with the 22-goal Michu their talisman, but struggled sometimes against bottom-half teams, which the Wales international hopes to redress.


"This happened mainly due to lack of concentration," Taylor told Goal. "Against the big names you have the motivation and play your hearts out.

"It's been a great season for us. We won the cup also. Michu has been excellent up front, scoring so many goals. That has helped the team."

The left-back was limited to just six club games in 2013-13 as he recovered from a broken leg, with youngster Ben Davies impressing in his place, but insists that he will stay and fight to reclaim his first-team position.

"I have a contract till 2016. I am happy in the club and my family also thinks that," Taylor continued, "so I look forward to the coming season."

With the Swans set to provide the opposition for new Manchester United boss David Moyes's first league game in charge, the 24-year-old expects a difficult occasion.

"The first match, against Manchester United, will be tough," he observed. "The players will try to impress the new manager. Also, looking at the length of the contract of Moyes, I think they have identified him as the next Alex Ferguson."

Having worked with both Brendan Rodgers and now Laudrup at the Liberty Stadium, Taylor explained: "They are very different managers.

9/4 Swansea are 9/4 with Coral to finish below rivals Cardiff City in 2013-14
"Rodgers gave me the first chance of playing top-class football and obviously Laudrup came in place of him when he left for Liverpool. Now, we play more direct football and build up the attack with less passes."

The full-back was quizzed on his favourite players and toughest opponents, pointing to a pair of Brazilians past and present.

"Neymar is the best I have played against," he recalled. "I remember playing against him before the Olympics and most of the time I was just looking at his heels. I wish him all the best in Barcelona.

"Roberto Carlos has been my idol. Among current players, I like Ashley Cole. He is consistent, has won trophies for his team, hardly misses any match and represents his country."

Taylor was speaking in Kolkata, spending time with underprivileged children as part of the Goalz project.

"All the kids have got their own kits. That's amazing. The infrastructure is good here," the defender, whose mother hails from India, added. "It's been a great experience."