Taylor: Boro win showed how much quality is in the West Ham squad

Midfielder pleased to crown his return to action with an assist

West Ham midfielder Matt Taylor was pleased to crown his return to the starting line-up with a win and an assist on Tuesday night.

The 30-year-old was brought into the starting line-up for the 2-0 victory at Middlesbrough for the rested Jack Collison, and Taylor revealed he was delighted to be back in the side following his calf injury.

“I was happy to be back in amongst it and back in the side to get the chance to play,” he said. “It was a good performance, I thought that we started well in the first 20 minutes.

“It was much better than we have started in recent games away from home.”

Indeed, the Hammers made a superb start, and deservedly took the lead, when Taylor’s pin-point cross was headed in by Freddie Piquionne.

“The cross was alright wasn’t it?” said Taylor with a smile.

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“It is what I am there for really and I enjoyed seeing the ball go in that’s for sure.”

West Ham’s victory ended a 16-game unbeaten home run for Middlesbrough, and Taylor said that that was testament to the strength of the Hammers’ squad.

“This was the first home game that they have lost all season, and it is a difficult place to come to,” he said.

“It is a great result and it just shows you what a great squad we have got here.

“We have made three or four changes from Saturday and still managed a result like this one and we are going to need that squad if we are going to do things in the Championship.”

Carlton Cole wrapped up the game for the Hammers deep in stoppage time at the end of the second half, and Taylor reserved special praise for the England striker.

“Coley has done exceptionally well this season,” he said.

“There was a lot of speculation when I arrived that he was going to leave, but his attitude has been first class and the club are now reaping the rewards of holding on to him.

“Carlton loves West Ham, he always has done, and he wanted to show his worth here and he has done. The lads are very grateful that he did.”

Tuesday night’s win opened up a six-point gap between the Hammers in second place and Cardiff in third, something that Taylor believes is crucial.

“It is very important to keep up there and keep winning,” he said.

“Southampton are winning and we want to go into the next few fixtures in good shape.

“There is still a long way to go, but we want to make sure we have one of those two automatic places nailed down.”

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