PETER Taylor is backing in-form Southend United to give Hull City a stern test when his two former sides do battle in the fourth round of the FA Cup this weekend.
Benfleet based Taylor has watched the Shrimpers on several occasions this season.
And he is believes they are capable of making life tough for the Tigers when they visit Roots Hall tomorrow.
“Phil Brown has done a terrific job at Southend and I’m sure this will be a very difficult game for Hull,” said Taylor.
“When I saw Southend towards the start of the season I thought they were lacking a bit of pace up front if I’m being honest but they’ve kept going and their confidence is really high now.
“The never seem to panic and that’s testament to the work Phil and his assistant Dave Penney have done because they have a very relaxed side there at the moment.”
Rochford born Taylor, who is now in charge of League One side Gillingham, is unable to attend tomorrow’s clash.
But he remains baffled as to why the game is not being shown live on television.
“I just don’t understand it at all,” said Taylor.
“This is going to be a good game between a League Two team and one in the Premier League and it’s what the romance of the FA Cup.
“However, Arsenal at home to Coventry gets selected and I think it’s a real shame because it could have earned Southend quite a bit of money.”
Taylor will instead be eagerly awaiting updates from Roots Hall where he both played for and managed the Shrimpers.
The 61-year-old lined up 78 times as a winger and, after hanging up his boots, returned to the club as a manager in 1994 as he replaced Barry Fry in charge.
But he was unable to bring success to the club and departed just two years later.
“It was a tough first job for me because I had to sell a lot of my players,” said Taylor.
“Had I been able to keep the same side that Barry had or if I had the experience I have now then it might have been different.
“It was a difficult at the time but I learnt a lot from it and I think it made me a better manager.”
Taylor went on to win promotions with both Gillingham and Brighton & Hove Albion before taking over at Hull in 2002.
And he remains proud of the successive promotions he secured while with the Tigers.
“When I went to Hull everyone told me it was a real sleeping giant and it was great to be able to turn things around,” said Taylor.
“I was with Adam Pearson, who is the best chairman I’ve ever worked with, and I had a fantastic time.
“I look back at my time with great fondness so I’m glad to see they’re doing well, along with Southend.
“I like to see them both doing well, especially Blues as they’re my local side.
“I actually still live in the same road as the chairman Ron Martin, but he has a much bigger house than me!”