Women's Team

Taylor braced for tough test against the Toffees

Taylor braced for tough test against the Toffees
Gareth Taylor is expecting City to be pushed to their limits by Everton in the Women’s Super League this Sunday.

The Toffees currently sit fifth in the table, but will come into the tie full of confidence after picking up a hard-fought victory away at Tottenham in their last outing.

And while a tilt at the title seems unlikely, the City boss believes they could still have a major say in the eventual outcome at the top of the WSL.

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He said: “I think most people will look at the run in now… look at Chelsea’s run in, Arsenal and Man United and probably look at Everton being one of those fixtures where it will be tough.

“We expect no different, Willie will set his team up to be really tough and resolute to break down.

“We’ve managed to be successful against them a couple of times this season but it won’t be easy.

“Everton made a really good start to the season, and have started to picked up again more recently.

“We’ll do our normal thing. It’s important to get back to back home games and it’s a game we’re looking forward to.”

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The games come thick and fast, with the visit of Everton representing a third game in the space of seven days for City, after victories over Birmingham and Fiorentina respectively.

Thankfully, City have been boosted by the return of American duo Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle to fitness following the recent international break, while Janine Beckie and Keira Walsh were also back in the squad for Wednesday’s 3-0 Champions League victory over Fiorentina.

While Taylor welcomed the embarrassment of riches he has at his disposal, he shed some light on the difficult decisions he has to make when balancing both recovery and match sharpness amid a busy fixture schedule.

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He said: “It’s a big ask and we want to be fair to the players, they’ll always put their hand up and say they’re ready to play but when you have good options it makes the decision a bit easier."

“Sometimes as a coach you really want to be out there more to talk about the ‘what ifs’.

“But the beauty of working with these players now for the time we have done is that it’s a two minute conversation an hour before kick off, that’s when you know that a team is functioning really well.”

One player for the opposition with split loyalties this weekend will be midfielder Jill Scott, currently on loan with the Toffees from City.

Scott, who has made over 170 appearances for us since joining in 2013, has started all four of Everton’s matches since joining her former club for the remainder of the season, even scoring the winner in last Sunday’s 3-2 victory over Spurs.

And while Taylor joked that he hopes the 33-year-old doesn’t give away too many secrets to her current employers, he says he is pleased to see our legendary midfielder thriving in a new environment.

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“I’ve been in contact with Jill especially after her scoring at the weekend to secure a really good win away at Spurs.

“She’s back, (and) she’s enjoying her football.

“Regardless of whether she plays or not there’ll probably be a respect for her former club where she probably won’t want to give too much information away!”

Manchester City welcome Everton to the Academy Stadium for a 14:00 (UK) kick-off on Sunday 7 March.

A full-match replay of the game will be available on CITY+ from midnight.

To sign up, click here.

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