Women's Team

City v Chelsea: Taylor on team news

City are likely to be without Khadija Shaw for Sunday’s FA Women’s Super League visit of Chelsea.

The Jamaican striker has missed the last two games with a foot injury, having been brought off at half-time of the Londoners’ last visit to the Academy Stadium a fortnight ago.

Previewing this weekend’s crunch clash, Head Coach Gareth Taylor confirmed he has no new injury concerns but admitted Shaw may not be ready for a return.

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“It’s pretty similar to last weekend,” he explained. “It’s as we were.

“It will be a game too soon for ‘Bunny’ but we’ve looked really good in training.

“The enthusiasm and quality has been great.”

With Chelsea having edged recent encounters between the two sides, including October’s Women’s FA Cup semi-final, Taylor was asked whether the players were seeking ‘revenge’ on Sunday.

While the Head Coach admitted a victory would ‘make a statement’, he dismissed suggestions of payback; instead asserting his side are fully focused on looking forward.

“Where we're at and have been, it’d be a decent statement for us to make,” he agreed.

“We’re coming up against one of the best teams in the division. They’re very strong on all fronts. It’s a tough challenge but if we stick to our principles we have a really good opportunity.

“We know we’re playing a good team who are ahead of us in a few transfer windows The strength and depth they have is superior to ours.

“Winning on Sunday drags us closer to Chelsea - it’d be five points, which isn’t a huge amount at this point. It’d be a big shift for us.

“It’d be a real statement - not revenge but an opportunity. Our challenge is to keep the players grounded, humble and believing in what we do.

“There’s potentially (more freedom than in previous fixtures) but there’s still that desire to win and do well.

“We know the importance of every game we play. It’s just finding that balance where we feel relaxed and confident to express ourselves.

“There’ll be mistakes but that’s part of the journey. You don’t progress or improve unless you suffer sometimes. It’s important that the players have some perspective and it’s important that we provide that environment for them.

“We look at our opponents - no matter who they are - and have maximum respect but I want it to be about us and our performance.

“If we get that right, it doesn’t matter who we play against. We’ve shown we’re capable.

“It’s about concentrating on what we do, sticking to our principles of play. When we do and see that we see a good performance, then you get opportunities to arrive in the final third and then it’s the bits of quality.

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“We’ve been inconsistent. Some games we’ve caught fire and others we haven’t been as potent. As long as we create opportunities, that’s the main one.”

Matchday Seven in the FA WSL marks the latest celebration of Women’s Football Weekend with the spotlight set to shine on the women’s game while men’s Club teams are on international duty.

With surging attendances expected across the country, including the Academy Stadium, Taylor highlighted the importance of such initiatives.

“It’s massive,” he added. “It’s great it’s being celebrated and a reminder we’re here and building something.

“We’re seeing a lot more content across the women’s game – not just matches – and it’s exciting to be a part of.”

Tickets for the game are still on sale. Secure your seat now online or buy on the day at the Academy Stadium!

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