Women's Team

Taylor: Stanway rising to the challenge

Gareth Taylor says he is delighted to see Georgia Stanway rising to the challenges set for her.

The forward bagged a brilliant brace in Saturday’s 3-0 FA Women’s Super League win at Aston Villa, edging closer to Nikita Parris’ goalscoring record for City.

The goals marked Stanway’s fifth and sixth in five games and Taylor expressed his satisfaction that the 23-year-old, who has proven a vital and versatile asset, is reaping the rewards of her efforts.

“I’m really pleased for Georgia,” he told mancity.com. “We’ve challenged her.

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“We know she’s more than capable of scoring goals and she’s providing real quality.

“She’s been impressive recently, playing in various positions, and she’s doing a really good job for the team.”

Reflecting on the triumph – another dominant display which closed the gap on fourth-placed Tottenham and continued our excellent start to 2022 – Taylor was thrilled with the manner of the victory.

The day began with uncertainty as two pitch inspections were needed to confirm the game could go ahead, and the Head Coach was pleased with the way his side handled the situation – and was especially satisfied with the quality of the goals scored.

“I’m very pleased,” he added. “It’s not an easy place to come and we had a few issues with the pitch, which pushes kick-off back.

“It’s difficult. You prepare and you’re ready and all of a sudden, if it’s off you’re really disappointed. You build-up for days getting ready.

“We’ve had a tough period of three games in six games, especially on the back of a break.

“Fortunately, we’ve been scoring goals – that’s 14 and three clean sheets, which is really impressive – and that allowed us to manage players’ loads, which is important going into another heavy period.

“We had to be careful but it was good.

“We scored the early goal, which was nice and settled everyone. Villa played differently to what we expected – we thought they’d sit off and make it difficult with the block but they kept coming out until the final minute.

“That was good because it allowed us to play out way and there were some really good sequences and we scored some really good goals.

“The second goal was brilliant. The movement was good – Lucy arriving between the pockets, a good forward run and a good pass to find Ellen - and Vicky finished it off. It was a fantastic goal and really pleasing.”

Taylor also shared an update on Caroline Weir and Karima Taieb, who missed the game. Though Taieb played against Brighton and was on the bench against Leicester in midweek, Weir is yet to play in 2022.

“Karima just had a bit of a setback yesterday – she wasn’t quite right,” he explained.

“It was nice to have Khiara [Keating] in there again, providing a clean sheet and we had another youngster in Grace Pilling on the bench.

“She’s not too far away hopefully. Caz was back on the pitch yesterday. She did her reintroduction from COVID-19 to training.

“Bunny was a little bit ahead. Hopefully, we’ll see something from Caz on Wednesday but it’s a steady build-up.”

City return to Continental Cup action with a quarter-final home tie against Bristol City on Wednesday 19 January before facing Arsenal in a crunch FA WSL clash on Sunday night.

With his side in fine form, Taylor hopes the squad can ride the crest of the wave to build a strong period of momentum.

“We have good games coming up,” he continued. “It’s a good period and I’m really pleased with the way we’ve gone so far in this return after the international break.

“Everyone is contributing to the team and that’s a massive thing for me.”

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