Taylor cools Europe talk
Neil Taylor insists Swansea are not thinking of European qualification despite a three-game winning streak lifting them into contention.
Last Updated: 23/03/12 5:27pm
Neil Taylor insists Swansea are not thinking of European qualification despite a three-game winning streak lifting them into contention for a Europa League spot.
Back-to-back defeats at the end of February had left some fans looking anxiously at the gap to the bottom three, but an impressive run of victories over Wigan, Manchester City and Fulham has lifted the South Wales club to eighth in the Premier League table.
Only the top five are currently set to qualify for European competition through the league, with Chelsea occupying the final spot, 10 points clear of the Swans.
But if the FA Cup final were to be contested by two sides who qualify for Europe through the league or, in the case of Liverpool, winning the Carling Cup, there is the potential for the sides who finish sixth and seventh to qualify for the Europa League.
Swansea will face Everton at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday just three points adrift of seventh-placed Liverpool, but left-back Taylor insists that securing mathematical survival remains the No.1 priority.
The 23-year-old said: "There has not been any talk of Europe, there honestly hasn't. The No.1 all season, even around January and February when people said we would be okay, has been about staying up.
"That's the main objective. Maybe next year, we can set ourselves a little higher target. This season we just have to stay in the Premier League.
"I saw the table the other day and from the turn of the year, we are actually third. That's something that shows progression and that's all we ever wanted. We know as a group that we are working hard every day and striving hard to do better.
"We are coming up to a time in the season when we are going to be playing the QPRs, the Blackburns and I think they are going to be really hard games because they are fighting for survival. It will be even tougher than playing them around December time.
"We need to remember where we are and what type of football club we are. We just want to finish as high as we can and if we could finish inside the top 10 it would be an unbelievable achievement."
To continue their winning run Swansea will need to record a first-ever victory over Everton at the 15th attempt.
Having played against Arsenal in midweek, and with an FA Cup quarter-final replay with Sunderland looming on Tuesday, Everton manager David Moyes may be tempted to rotate his squad, but Taylor says whatever side the Scot fields will provide a tough test.
"They are a good team. I saw them against Liverpool and in the FA Cup and I realised just how good a squad they have got," he said. "You look at it now and you think they could put out two decent teams and they have a busy period at the moment.
"I'm sure they will say they are only looking at this game and worry about the FA Cup afterwards.
"I suppose you have to plan ahead as a manager, especially at this time of the season when fatigue can set in, but we will just worry about ourselves. You can try and guess what team they put out, but hopefully our homework will be done."