THE fact Charlie Taylor was just ten-years-old when Leeds United last played in the Premier League says everything about the struggles that the club has endured of late.
Three years in League One and a stint in administration were the nadir for the club, though the past few seasons have hardly been much fun either.
Since United, under the charge of the manager who will be in the opposing dugout today at Preston North End, finished seventh in 2010-11 the top flight has seemed a distant dream.
If that is to change, keeping hold of talent such as Taylor – last weekend named as the club’s Player of the Year – is vital and, for his part, he wants to remain at Elland Road.
“I would like to stay at Leeds,” said the 22-year-old full-back, who has a year of his contract to run, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Deepdale and a reunion with Simon Grayson. “And for us to have a real good push for promotion, just like everyone does. With a couple more signings and a few more things done behind the scenes, there is no reason why we can’t.
“Top six has to be the challenge. Hopefully, I will still be here. And (Lewis) Cooky will. Some of the senior players, too, like (Chris) Woody and Sol (Bamba).
“The dream is to get to the Premier League with Leeds. That would be massive.
“I want to be part of that when it does happen. The whole city would come alive. It would mean so much to everyone and I want to be part of that.”
United will head to Deepdale backed by a travelling army of around 5,500 supporters.
Despite the campaign having brought a mid-table finish for both clubs, the presence of such a large contingent from Yorkshire is likely to provide Deepdale with a highly-charged atmosphere.
Victory would guarantee a top- half finish for Steve Evans as the Scot waits to learn from Massimo Cellino as to whether he will lead the club next season.
Taylor is hoping to finish on a high and cap a fine week that began with that recognition at the Player of the Year awards night.
“It means a lot,” said the full back, given his debut by Grayson. “I just concentrate on my football, but the awards at the end of the season are a bonus. I do feel I have improved massively.
“During my time (on loan) at Fleetwood, I improved and I do feel over the last 18 months I have pushed on. The best moment of the season was probably MK Dons. It was my only goal this season. The worst was Brighton at half-time.”