Women's Team

Women’s FA Cup Final: Taylor shares team news update

Women’s FA Cup Final: Taylor shares team news update
Gareth Taylor says City have no new injury concerns ahead of Sunday’s Women’s FA Cup Final clash against Everton.

The holders are readying ourselves for our third FA Cup Final in four years but unusually, head into the game on the back of an international break.

With England’s camp halted early due to a positive COVID-19 test amongst the backroom staff, City’s Lionesses contingent were able to head home and turn attentions to Sunday’s game – and Taylor revealed the squad have returned in good shape.

“Just a bit of fine-tuning,” he said. “Everyone is looking good, who we had previously available.

“Fortunately, we got the England girls back a day or two earlier due to circumstances and we had to think on our feet in terms of this week’s timetable.

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“You want everyone knocking at the door, fit and ready to play. Unfortunately, I can only pick 11 but with nine substitutes and players in the stands, it’s important everyone is together and doing their bit to help the team be successful.

“It’s been a positive to get players back earlier than Everton have. We’ve had to wait on a couple – Caroline Weir got back on Thursday – but we’ve had to make the best of it.

“When you’ve got so many games coming up in a short space, there are naturally injuries or changes to the squad so every player needs to be ready and available.”

Everton have enjoyed an excellent start to the 2020/21 campaign – unbeaten in the FA Women’s Super League with four wins from five – and having defeated the much-fancied Chelsea and Birmingham en route to the Final.

Taylor added he has been impressed with the Toffees but hopes the knowledge gained from our two previous encounters (in pre-season and the Continental Cup), plus inside information from former Everton players Chloe Kelly and Esme Morgan, can prove of use.

WATCH: Road to the Final: Women's FA Cup

“They’re a good team,” he continued. “I’ve admired what Willie Kirk has done. There has been a lot said about other club’s recruitment but Everton have brought in some really good players.

“They lost Chloe but they’ve recruited really well. Chloe has been really helpful in the respect of (telling us bits of information).

“One of her concerns before she signed was whether she would be cup-tied but she was good to play.

“She’s made such a good start to the season and she’s bedded in well. She’s a real asset for us.

“We’ll be having conversations! If she’s got something to say – some intelligence (as with Esme Morgan) – she’ll say it.

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“We’ve played them twice so far and we can draw from those experiences – but this is a one-off game of two really good teams, looking to be successful.

“We’ll be aware of the opposition but it’s down to us.

“It would mean everything to win the trophy. I feel so fortunate – I’ve not even hit double figures in games and two of those have been at Wembley!

“I’m enormously grateful for the opportunity. It’s something you want to get accustomed to: big finals. That’s certainly a target for us.

“We’ve got the opportunity to go for five trophies this season – two of those being FA Cups. We’re trying to build a squad capable of competing on all fronts.

“It’s very difficult with the high level of competition in the WSL and the Champions League. The level keeps improving.

“We have a great opportunity to pick up from last season. The girls did really well in the quarter-finals and semi-finals and now we have a really good game to look forward to.

“For us to win would be amazing and one of the biggest things in my premature coaching career – I’m still at the start and learning so much about the many parts of it.

“Leading our the team would be a hugely proud moment for me.

“We just need one final push to bring the trophy back home.”

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