Football.co.uk's Joe Strange speaks to Middlesbrough and former England under-21 defender Andrew Taylor to find out what he really thinks about Gordon Strachan's Scottish revolution, the development of English youngsters and his business interests outside of football.
Tell us a little bit about your route into football - how did you end up signing for Middlesbrough?
I got scouted playing for my local team called Cleveland Juniors at 9 years old. I went on trial (with Middlesbrough) and then from there got offered the chance to sign.
How disappointing was relegation to the Championship and the failure to reach the Premier League last season?
It was very disappointing to get relegated, the worst experience of my career so far and again, not getting promoted wasn't great but it’s something all my team-mates want to achieve this season.
The pressure is on for Middlesbrough to win promotion this season, are you confident the club can achieve that in such a competitive league?
I think the Championship is one of the most competitive leagues by far this year, however we're all confident that if we perform to our best, then we will be up there by the end of the season.
What have you made of Gordon Strachan's signings so far?
The manager has brought in a lot of new faces, and in my opinion made our squad a lot stronger. They all have a lot of experience but plenty of quality too!
Some of the media have labelled the club 'McBoro' after a number of Scottish signings. Can you remember the continental Boro of Juninho, Emerson and co? If so, what did you make of that era for the club?
That era of the club was very exciting, we also had the flair of the Brazilians and it created a party atmosphere at the Riverside.
Your season didn't get off to the best start against Ipswich on the opening weekend, does the team need more time to gel or was it simply one bad result?
It was a bad start for us and we are all going to be working hard to make sure it doesn't happen again.
How does the style of football differ between the Premier League and Championship?
The Championship has a lot of good players and is very physical but the Premier League if full of world class players, both technically and physically.
Having played for England under 21s yourself, do you think Fabio Capello's new youth policy is the way forward for the senior team?
I think the youth policy that England are trying to use now is correct. Yes, we still need a core of experience in the team, but you just need to look at what Germany did at the World Cup with the amount of good, young players they had in their squad - they proved it can work!
Who do you think are the brightest English talents emerging at present?
We have a lot of good young players who I believe are good enough to be in the England team. Joe hart is proving he's one of the best young keepers in Europe at the moment and also my old team-mate and good friend Adam Johnson. I think he's someone who can scare defenders with his skill and pace and is definitely capable of playing at the highest level.
Away from football you've set up a company called Platinum Players. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Platinum Players was created to try and help stop footballers being taken advantage of. It's an online directory featuring various different companies who are vetted and safe for footballers to use. It's totally free for the players to use and from the feedback we've received they find it beneficial and helpful.
How have things progressed since you started the project and what are your hopes for the future?
Things are moving along nicely. We have now introduced Platinum Assist, a text service to allow the database to be accessed on the move and we have also opened the website out to other sports people. Obviously Rome wasn't built in a day but the site receives on average 1,500 hits a day and I'm confident that in the long-term it will be very helpful and successful
For more information about Platinum Players please visit www.platinumplayers.co.uk