ANDREW Taylor fears a war of attrition when his current and former clubs do battle at Cardiff City Stadium tomorrow.
The Hartlepool-born Cardiff defender will be in the Bluebirds starting 11 for the third against fourth confrontation with Middlesbrough.
Promotion spots are, of course, not decided in December but there is no doubt that tomorrow’s npower Championship match of the day will be pivotal for both clubs.
It is tight at the top – the two rivals are only two points behind second-placed West Ham but are six ahead of Brighton, who are seventh.
Three points tomorrow would be very handy going into the busy festive programme.
On paper, it has the makings of a battle royal – only leaders Southampton have a better home record than Cardiff, while West Ham are the only team to win more times on the road than Boro.
“Hopefully it will make for a really good game or, it could make for a real stalemate,” said the 25-year-old.
“In the grand scheme of things, I’m not sure a draw is really helping either team. Both sides could really do with the win to kick on to keep the pressure on West Ham and Southampton.
“I think both teams will be going all out for the win, we’ll just have to see how the game goes.”
Taylor, who left Boro in the summer after the completion of his contract, says his mobile phone has been busy this week with “banter” flying in both directions.
But he say it’s all good fun and would like to meet his old pals tonight ahead of the more serious matters tomorrow.
“I’ve had a fair bit of banter, especially with Tony McMahon,” said the left-back.
“We’re really good mates. He plays right-back and I’m left-back here so we should have been coming up against each other down the same side of the pitch.
“But he, stupidly, went and got himself booked last week – his fifth yellow card and a suspension. So I won’t be getting the chance to play against him.
“But I’ve had a bit crack with a few of the lads and I’ll probably call in to say hello at their hotel tonight.”
Taylor is impressed with Boro’s run under Tony Mowbray.
“Looking from the outside they have done fantastic,” said the former England U21 star. “They have got the same points as us and they’ll be looking to kick on from here and try for the top two.
“You can’t play well every week – no one does in this league – but it’s all about getting the results and Middlesbrough have done that.
“It’s important if you are not playing at your best that you can grind out results, like they did on the telly against Watford and at Bristol City.
“They weren’t brilliant in either game but they got wins and, at the end of the day, it’s about getting points.”