City – three-time winners of the competition – travel to Leicester on Wednesday night in our final Group B North game, currently sitting top of the table on goal difference with six points from our three games.
Three points will secure top spot if City can maintain our goal difference advantage, with Manchester United and Everton (who both also have six points) locking horns and ready to pounce on any slip-up.
While City are struggling once again with a depleted squad due to positive COVID-19 cases and injuries, as Taylor confirmed following Sunday's win at Birmingham, the Head Coach asserted his team are doing all they can to ensure the safety of the squad, while readying themselves for a must-win encounter.
Keira Walsh and Janine Beckie remain unavailable for selection, while Lucy Bronze also missed the trip to St Andrew's as a precaution of Test and Trace guidelines. Jess Park, who suffered a migraine at the weekend, could make a welcome return.
“The Continental Cup is a competition that the Club have been very successful in over the years and we’re going to be giving everything we have to progress into the quarter finals,” Taylor said.
“We’d made quite a few changes to our starting XI for our previous Conti Cup game but we’re now back in a position where we’ve got limited personnel to choose from again.
“On the weekend [against Birmingham], we only had four substitutes available, including a goalkeeper, due to COVID-19 cases and injuries and the girls put in a real shift in difficult circumstances to eventually nick our winner late on.
“As a team, especially following our positive cases, we’re following all the relevant league COVID-19 protocols to keep us all as safe as possible and testing daily to ensure we’re as protected as possible heading into the end of the calendar year.
“In regards to the girls who tested positive over the weekend (Walsh and Beckie), we’re keeping in touch with them on a regular basis to make sure they’re okay and wish them both a speedy recovery.”
Despite the ongoing challenges the squad are facing, Taylor says he has been proud of the way his players have responded, showing real courage and togetherness, and hopes they will be rewarded with on-pitch success.
“We’ve had these kind of hardships all season long and one thing that I’ve been so proud of with the players is their dedication, fight and unity in the face of adversity,” he added.
“This is a competition that demands the same amount of games as most other competitions and we’ve had some good tests in our group as a whole.
“We go to Leicester knowing that a win should be enough to progress, pending results elsewhere in the group, and we’ll be giving everything we have to do just that and make sure we’re in the hat for the last eight.”
City face Leicester on Wednesday 15 December (19:00) and Reading on Sunday 19 December (14:00).
Check out mancity.com and our official app for coverage of each game, while tickets for all home games are available.