CHRIS TAYLOR is delighted to have returned for a second spell at Oldham Athletic, dispelling the notion players should never go back to former clubs.
And it is extra special for the 30-year-old from Austerlands as he is a lifelong Latics’ fan having been brought up in Springhead.
“I always thought I would play for Latics again, but did not expect it to be so soon,” explained midfielder/striker who is on loan from Bolton Wanderers for the remainder of the season.
Taylor’s return has coincided with Latics’ upturn in fortunes – his first six games produced three wins and two draws to climb out of the relegation places.
And Taylor, a former pupil at Clarksfield Primary and Saddleworth School, is full of praise for manager John Sheridan who looks set to perform a great escape for two successive season.
He said: “When the manager arrived in January 2015, it looked bleak, but he kept the team up.
“The team was again in the relegation places when he returned this January, but again he has turned things round and we have picked up some all good results to move out of the relegation zone.
“Now we have a few wins on board, it is a lot happier and more relaxed. It is great from where we were a few weeks ago, but we cannot rest on our laurels as there is still a lot of work to do.
“The bottom two clubs have fallen behind the rest, but it is still open as to which other two teams will occupy the other relegation place.”
Taylor, who was signed on transfer deadline day on January 31, said he had no hesitation in rejoining his home-town club when he heard of their interest.
Sheridan was reserve-team manager when Taylor was a youngster at Latics.
“Though it was Ronnie Moore who gave me my debut, it was Shez who was pushing him to do so. And he was a massive influence, one of the biggest in my career,” he explained.
Taylor made 285 appearances for Latics between 2006/12, scoring 35 goals.
He moved to Millwall and in his one season at the New Den helped the Lions reach the semi finals of the FA Cup where they lost to Wigan Athletic.
“I loved by time at Millwall and, looking back, I should have stayed longer. To play at Wembley that season was a dream come true,” he said.
And when Latics played Millwall in League One Taylor got to renew acquaintances – he is a great admirer of Lions’ Neil Harris.
Taylor moved back closer to home joining Blackburn Rovers, saying there was a belief, when they finished eighth and ninth, that they could regain their Premier League status.
“I loved my time at Blackburn, even though I was in and out of the team. It is a fantastic club and the fans deserve better than the way it is being run,” he said.
Taylor joined Bolton Wanderers in the summer, but managed only seven starts and 16 substitute appearances before his loan move to Latics.
He said: “It was frustrating as I never got a run of games and a proper opportunity, but that’s football.
“That’s the great beauty since joining Latics. I have had more games than training sessions as we’ve been playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday most weeks.”