Women's Team

Taylor delighted after superb home finale

Gareth Taylor was delighted with his side’s ‘professional’ display in Wednesday night’s 6-0 FA Women’s Super League triumph over Birmingham.

City completed our 2021/22 home campaign with another resounding win to move into the top three with one game to go, thanks to a second half blitz with a brace from Georgia Stanway, plus goals from Lauren Hemp, Chloe Kelly, Alanna Kennedy and Laura Coombs.

Reflecting on the win – our 12th in a row and 20th in our last 22 games in all competitions – Taylor hailed his side’s excellent performance, especially the manner of the victory.

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“We’re pleased,” he declared. “We got over the line and I thought we played really well. I said that to the girls at half-time, as much as we were frustrated at 0-0.

“We looked at tweaking a couple of things in the final third with more bits of quality.

“In terms of performance, it’s not easy to play against a back five. When we scored, they changed and went to a four and went back because we really opened up.

“It was an important goal from Georgia and you could see we were a lot more relaxed in the final actions and creativity became more apparent.

“Those games can go either way in terms of not getting what you need. We could have easily come away at 0-0 – you saw what happened with Chelsea in their last game… They’re difficult to play against: organised and set up to be effective.

“It’s easy to take your foot off the gas and take liberties, taking too many touches, but I thought we handled it really well.

“We made a couple of errors but we were really disciplined in our positional play and decisions, and that shows me they are really starting to move into that area of dominating games, which I’ve always been looking for.

“I’m proud of the way the girls have handled the situation [this season] in terms of strength in adversity, and that’s everyone.

“We do go under the spotlight quite a bit. We’re a big Club and we understand that but we don’t get the plaudits we deserve for what we do, and the way we go about our business is really important.

“The girls have been great. I spoke to them about their professionalism, attitude and quality. We controlled large parts of the game and we made changes, which didn’t really disrupt the flow, which speaks volumes.

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“I think the change at half-time worked [Chloe Kelly for Hayley Raso] and gave everyone a bit of a fresh impetus. We were concerned about Chloe playing all three games [this week], having come back from the injury she had.

“Hayley had had a big effect in the game at St Andrew’s because there was a lot of space in behind – that’s her game: she’s very quick. This was more in between – more about decision-making to get beyond the full-back. After that, Chloe started to enjoy it with Lucy [Bronze] overlapping and the combination with Lauren and Chloe was really apparent.

“Sometimes, you try to influence the game with changes but the more you make, players are starting to get their rhythm when you take them out.

“It’s not easy coming off, and coming into the game, players have got a headstart on you… but the way we handled that was very good.

“It’s a really good result at this stage of the season. We’re on a great run and we have the chance on Sunday to equal our record of 13 wins.”

Taylor also expressed his condolences to Birmingham, who suffered relegation to the Championship with the defeat, praising manager Darren Carter’s impact.

He added: “I spoke about Birmingham a lot in the pre-match with the players and I said: ‘Currently, this is not the worst team in the league, I don’t believe that.’

“Darren came in at difficult period and picked up the reins. If they are able to secure him for another season, they will be moving in the right direction. Good things are coming.”

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