Neil Taylor: Swansea City must be brave to win at Cardiff City
NEIL Taylor admits courage could be crucial when Swansea City run out in Cardiff for the biggest ever Welsh derby.
Michael Laudrup's men make the short trip along the M4 this weekend to go head-to-head with their neighbours for the first time in the Premier League.
And Taylor admits the Cardiff City Stadium will be no place for the faint-hearted on Sunday afternoon.
"We need to stand up and be counted," the Swansea defender said.
"Cardiff have done well. Malky Mackay looks a really good manager. He gets his teams up for it, they work hard and look like one of the hardest working teams you will play against.
"This is a chance for players to make a name for themselves and everyone at the club will love them forever.
"The atmosphere will take you off your feet a little bit.
"You have to keep your cool in these games. The ball will be bouncing around and the tackles will be going in and one little slight mistake and you can be down to ten men and the game could be over and ruined."
It is not only the sizzling atmosphere which awaits Taylor this weekend.
Swansea's left-back is also bracing himself for a personal duel with long-time Welsh international colleague Craig Bellamy.
Shackling the player who scored the winning goal for Cardiff when the sides met at the Liberty Stadium three seasons ago represents a tough assignment.
And having seen Bellamy at close quarters while on Wales duty, Taylor is under no illusions about the quality he possesses. "I don't know how you keep him quiet," Taylor admitted.
"I'm sure he will be talking away, but that doesn't bother me. Bellars has calmed down a little bit over the years.
"He's a great player and I've got a massive amount of respect for him. I said I was gutted when he retired for Wales and it will be good to see him again.
"It will be great to play against Craig because I never have before. He's a great player and a friend. He's also a great professional. He's 34 and it's a credit to him he is still playing at the top level.
"He's been a great servant for Wales and Cardiff. He's Cardiff through and through and he'll be trying to win on Sunday, but so will I and all the other lads."
Taylor has been handed a chance to reclaim the left-back shirt at Swansea after Ben Davies picked up an ankle injury.
The former Wrexham man started games against Kuban Krasnodar and West Ham last week and now looks set to get his first real taste of derby action.
Taylor came on for the final few minutes of Swansea's win at the Cardiff City Stadium in 2010, but did not feature in the return match.
"The two derbies will be even bigger because these games are in the Premier League. It's a game for the fans — they are the ones you go to win the games for," he said.
"I watched Newcastle play Sunderland last weekend and it looked like a proper British hurly-burly game with lots of tackles going in and balls bouncing around. People just wanted to win and it will be like that in Cardiff.
"The players get more excited for these games. We love playing in them and the fans love them — they are the ones they looked for straightaway when the fixtures came out.
"It should also be celebrated as it is two Welsh teams in the Premier League.
"We obviously play two different systems, but hopefully we are the ones who come out as winners."