Women's Team

Taylor: ‘Top drawer’ clash a great advert for women’s football

Gareth Taylor hailed City’s 7-2 win over Brighton and Hove Albion as a great advert for women’s football.

The nine-goal thriller, which saw City bag six or more goals against the Seagulls in three consecutive games, showcased the hosts’ ruthless attacking firepower with Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw netting four, as we survived a spirited fightback to storm into the top three.

Reflecting on the win, Taylor deemed his side’s stunning second half display as ‘top drawer’ and sensational entertainment for the neutral.

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“It would have been an exciting game to watch,” he declared. “At half-time [at 3-2], people would have looked and thought: two teams having a right good go.

“It’s exciting. A lot of my friends enjoy watching the women’s game. It doesn’t make my job easier but at 6-2 and 7-2 up, Brighton were still coming out and engaging, pressing and working hard so you have to be on guard.

“It was pretty emphatic in the end. We started the game really well. We set about playing with the ball really nicely, created some good opportunities, and scored goals.

“We were disappointed at half-time, conceding two goals we thought we could have done better with.

“We have been tight in that area since the turn of the year. It’s about focusing on the positives. As a player, you feel flat and they came at us in the second half, you still have to rely on Ellie [Roebuck] to make a brilliant save to keep the score where it was.

“Then we go straight down the other end and score. That’s football. It happens a lot. I felt condiment at half-time that we could do that but you don’t know the effect of conceding – it’s easy for us on the sidelines to have our emotions in check but the players can be annoyed.

“Ellie will be disappointed to have conceded two goals but she was key to how we built to the front from the back.

“In general, the way we handled the second half was top drawer. Some of the goals we scored were special goals.

“For a neutral watching at home though, it’s really exciting.”

Naturally, Taylor was full of praise for four-goal heroine Bunny Shaw, hailing City’s attacking firepower with England’s all-time record goalscorer Ellen White also making a cameo on the bench.

“We have really good options at the top end of the pitch, which we didn’t have before,” he added.

“We have really good strikers in good form. Sometimes, we go with different options but Ellen and Bunny both support each other really well. They have a healthy relationship.

“Bunny is a really good finisher. She took her goals well and it’s about her believing in herself a bit more. She’s had a really good season.

“The levels she could go up to are huge. At the beginning, it was new to her – a different league, a new country so there’s an adaptation period.

“Hopefully, this will give her more confidence.”

With two league games to play, City are in pole position for a Champions League spot but Taylor asserts his side must avoid looking too far ahead.

“We just attack the next game,” he said. “It’s about making sure we deal with the small break we have between now and Wednesday, recovering properly and realigning the focus straight away.

“It’s nice having a home game. Then it’s the away game at Reading but we’re no focusing on that – we have to take care of business first.

“Make sure we recovery. It’s been good to get more players on the pitch to balance that three games in a week. We need full concentration and full focus. We’re nearly there now.

“For me, it’s about players showing really good application in training sessions with good competition, desire and determination not to get beat and continue this run.

“It’s outstanding what we’ve done and full credit to the players.”

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