Taylor eyeing up Withy game
MIKE Taylor says he is already relishing the chance to test his new team against his old one when Witheridge take on Cullompton Rangers on Boxing Day.
It will be the first time Taylor has taken on his old club since he controversially left Edge Down Park in October to be appointed to the manager's job at Speeds Meadow.
And Taylor – whose side do not play until the Mid Devon derby – insists he is looking forward to the fixture, as well as seeing some friendly faces at his old club.
"I am looking forward to the match. It is effectively the side I built at Witheridge over a two-year spell there," he said.
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"I think they have brought in a couple of players since I left but not too many, so it is very similar to what I left there.
"But I spent two years building that side and it is the side I built against the side I am building now at Cullompton Rangers.
"I am good friends with (manager) Chris Vinnicombe and Shane Kallaway, and I think John Cornforth is helping out there and I worked with him.
"We are friends and still speak to each other, and I get on well with all the players I knew there too, so from a managerial perspective I don't think there will be any animosity.
"I have been involved with Witheridge since I was a youngster so I doubt there will be any hard feelings."
Since Taylor joined, Cully have seen an upturn in both results and performances, although they are still near the relegation zone.
Witheridge meanwhile have flourished under Vinnicombe's tutelage, winning their last six on the spin.
Taylor admitted that Witheridge would be tough opposition, but said that he would have to put sentiment aside and focus and winning all three points.
"It will be nice to see them all again but tough as well because we know we have to go and get the points," he said.
"But we do not need to look at it like it is a local derby – we need to look at it as a game from which we need three points.
"My job as a manager is to put three points on the table and that is what I'll be trying to do.
"I would never wish them any ill luck and I hope they continue to fly up the table. I just hope we can match them on Boxing Day or even take three points."