Gareth Taylor says his City side will be energised to go again next season, having missed out on the Barclays Women’s Super League title on goal difference.

Goals from Mary Fowler and Lauren Hemp ensured we equalled our highest WSL points tally with a 2-1 win at Aston Villa.

But Chelsea’s 6-0 win at Manchester United saw us ultimately miss out on the final day.

It was a cruel way to end a season in which Taylor felt his side deserved silverware, but he’s confident City will use that disappointment as motivation heading into 2024/25.

“I already feel that way,” the boss reflected in his post-match press conference.

“The determination is to rest and then come back and not have to go to goal difference. If we do we do, we just have to do the job.

“It’s tough. We won 18 games out of 22. It feels really tough on the team because you don’t always get what you deserve but I felt we deserved it this season.

“Of course, we lost some players at key moments. We don’t have probably the strength in depth that other teams have unfortunately at this moment, but that’s something we’re working towards.

“These things happen. We will be energised to go again.”

It was an emotional afternoon at Villa Park, with legendary captain Steph Houghton taking to the pitch one final time before her retirement from professional football.

Following the match, it was also announced that Ellie Roebuck, Demi Stokes, Ruby Mace and Filippa Angeldahl would all be moving on to pastures new this summer, with the four receiving a bouquet of flowers and a rousing reception from City’s travelling support in the process.

The boss thanked each of the players for their contributions in blue, before one final tribute to departing skipper Houghton.

“We really appreciate their efforts for the Club. They’ve all been great in what they’ve given,” Taylor added.

“It was always going to be an emotional last couple of games but she’s [Houghton] handled herself so well, she’s a class act.

“Every positive thing that’s been said about her has been warranted. She’s still shown in her final game that she can still do it.

“She’s been a big motivation for the team, and we really wanted to do it for her. She realises the love that we have for her. She’s been top class. She’s such a top professional.”