JOHN Taylor is looking forward to ‘going home’ tomorrow when he takes Walsham-le-Willows to the R Costings Abbey Stadium to face CRC (3pm).
With manager Paul Smith unavailable this weekend, Willows’ assistant boss will be taking charge of the clash at a ground he made his name as Cambridge United’s all-time record goalscorer.
It will be the first time 47-year-old Taylor — who scored 103 goals in 405 appearances for the U’s — has returned to Cambridge in a competitive capacity since departing.
“I have great memories from there, playing and managing,” said Taylor, who bossed United to the 2002 Football League Trophy final at the Millennium Stadium. “It’s always nice to go home and it will be nice to catch up with some old faces.”
CRC are Cambridge United’s young feeder side — much like Team Bury are for Bury Town — and have impressed this season to sit fifth in the Ridgeons League Premier Division.
And although Taylor has made a handful of appearances from the bench this season, even the lure of gracing the Abbey Stadium’s turf once again is unlikely to persuade him to add to his tally of games.
“I will have to see how the game is panning out,” he said. “They are a full-time team so get around the pitch well, which means it is unlikely I will put myself on.
“We know what to expect, but we won’t set up any differently to go out and try to win the match.”
It happens to be a crucial game for Willows, with relegation rivals Wivenhoe Town favourites to pick up three points at doomed Newmarket Town.
Should that happen, Willows would need at least a point to end the weekend out of the bottom three, despite an improved run of one defeat from six matches.
“We are on a decent run and the boys are confident in themselves, so we are heading in the right direction,” added Taylor.
“Everyone knows results build confidence and that has happened.
“We are now going into games looking like we can win them and are looking above us rather than down.”
Ollie Hughes (unavailable) and Trevor Newman (suspended) will both be absent, but Tom Fenner and Jack Brame are set to return to the squad and would be natural replacements.