Women's Team

Taylor loving ‘feast’ of fixtures

Taylor loving ‘feast’ of fixtures
Gareth Taylor says City are thriving from the packed fixture schedule, with games coming thick and fast in all competitions.

The 2020 Women’s FA Cup Champions were back in action on Wednesday afternoon, defeating Liverpool 3-0 in the Continental Cup a matter of days after the weekend’s Wembley heroics.

City needed extra-time to defeat Everton but cruised past Liverpool in normal time, despite the fact the City boss made eight changes to the starting XI.

Taylor was pleased with his side’s display at Prenton Park but believes there is still more to come.

“I think it’s good to have games,” he reflected. “We’ve just about recovered from Sunday!

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“It feels like a long time ago but also just 24 hours ago! It’s a weird feeling.

“At the moment, it’s a bit like feast or famine in the women’s game – there are international breaks and you don’t have a game for ages and then you have four games in 14 days – and I prefer it that way.

“Fortunately, I had the option to put eight new players in and used it. I played Sam Mewis in a more withdrawn role than what she usually plays but she took to it really well.

“Sam had done a lot last week and at Wembley but she’s a key player you want in your team.

“Overall, I thought there were some good elements to our play but I still expect more in the final third, particularly in the second half when things slightly opened up.

WATCH: Women's FA Cup Final highlights: Everton 1-3 City (AET)

“At 2-0, the opposition are slightly hanging on – there is still hope – and that’s the difference at the minute: if we can get that third goal with 20 minutes to go, there’s a fair chance you can probably open up and score a few more.

“I still think there are areas we can improve on.”

The opening goal proved the main talking point of the clash – a moment of magic, courtesy of Laura Coombs.

The former Liverpool star broke the deadlock with a piece of individual brilliance, bringing down Gemma Bonner’s floated pass before executing a wonderful half-volley into the top corner.

Taylor hailed the midfielder’s fine finish as ‘top class’, adding he holds Coombs in high regard.

Laura Coombs did well – she’s a good player,” he said.

“I’ve liked her since I started working with her.

“She hasn’t played as much as she’d probably like because there’s some stiff competition but she’s been excellent in training and she’s a really good player.

“She scored a great goal – it was good movement by Georgia Stanway with a penetrating run, and then the pick out from Gemma Bonner and the touch and finish was top class.”

Taylor also reserved praise for goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, who made her long-awaited 100th appearance for the Club, and youngster Jess Park, who impressed again, capping another fine performance with a goal in injury time.


                        Taylor loving ‘feast’ of fixtures

Karen Bardsley made her 100th appearance,” he added.

“Everyone respects what Karen has done in the game.

“It’s a nice milestone for her and one I’m sure she will have enjoyed.

“Jess is fortunate to be around a good group of players with good experience, who are helping her and pushing her.

“She’s having to work to get minutes in the team but that’s only right.

“She’s had those opportunities and she’s making an impact. She made an impact at Wembley and she got a goal with a great finish (against Liverpool).

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“It’s a tough level for her – she’s a young girl – but she’s coming along really well and she’ll be learning a lot.”

Asked whether his side can enjoy some well-deserved time off before Saturday’s visit of Bristol City, Taylor laughed: “We’ll see! I’m a bit stringent with time off!

“We have a diverse group – some players want to be in training, some want time off…

“We’ll made a decision based on what the team needs. There are a few games coming up – we’re looking at Bristol at the weekend.

“We have to make sure we’re back at it, seeing who is looking fresh for a big push.”

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