Interviews

Taylor: Houghton personifies professionalism

Gareth Taylor has commended Manchester City captain Steph Houghton’s professionalism ahead of our clash with Chelsea on Sunday.

The centre-back is back to full fitness and played the entirety of our opening day defeat to Aston Villa, after narrowly missing out on the England's squad for the 2022 Women's Euros in the summer. 

Despite ultimately coming up short, the 34-year-old impressively battled her way back to fitness ahead of the new campaign, and the boss is glad to have her back at his disposal.        

Taylor also praised her mentality to come back stronger after the summer's disappointment. 

“We’ve really supported Steph in that. Firstly, we really supported her in the ambition to make the squad which was a tough challenge especially with the injury she had and the short period she had to get fit,” Taylor said.

"There was some amazing work that went on to help her with that. Ultimately, it had to come from Steph and she had to be the one driving it and working so hard every day on the training ground to get herself in a position to be selected.

“And then obviously there was a huge amount of support when she was left out of the squad. Looking back at the Euros I was thinking of Steph a lot.”

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Throughout her time with the Lionesses, Houghton has been a pioneer of the women’s game as she led the side to a third-place finish in the 2015 Women’s World Cup and two further semi-final appearances at EURO 2017 and the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

Despite just missing out on the summer tournament, Taylor has hailed her mindset to look forward to the 2022/23 WSL season.

“Any scenario, it was so tough for her for what she went through but typical Steph, she’s such a great ambassador for both England and our Club. She just personifies professionalism, she’s amazing,” the boss concluded.

Watch the entirety of Taylors pre-Chelsea press conference above  

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