Women's Team

Taylor: Ruthless City getting better in attack

Gareth Taylor believes Manchester City have become a better attacking outfit this season as he hailed the ruthless nature of our performance against Fiorentina.

City hit five without reply in Italy to cruise into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League with an 8-0 aggregate victory.

Ellen White and Sam Mewis both scored a brace apiece, with Caroline Weir netting the other and Taylor says he has seen an improvement in his side’s attacking output as the campaign has progressed.

“I thought the way we managed the game from the first to the last minute was excellent,” he said at his post-match press conference.

“We scored some good goals, made some great decisions around the edge of the box and all the players contributed.

“That has been one of the biggest shifts I have seen this season, our decision making in the final third. Earlier in the season that was an area we needed to improve on.

“You can see now, because we put the players in those situations a lot both in training and matches, that there is a bit of thought process that goes behind it now.

“I thought Lauren on one of the goals had a great pick out, I thought Chloe picked out players when she was in there, Janine as well and Ellen at the top end of the pitch.

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“I thought there were some really good team goals and good decision making, which is key in the final third.”

The win sees City joins Chelsea in the last eight of the tournament, which includes European powerhouses Lyon as well as Barcelona and Bayern Munich who progressed with equally impressive aggregate victories.

Taylor says his side not content with reaching quarter-finals, but does not feel that our free scoring performance in Florence gives us an advantage over the competition.

“I don’t think it means anything,” he added.

“We are in the quarter-finals, so are other very good teams. We are a good footballing team that can score goals. We have earned the right to be there, but it doesn’t guarantee anything.

“We’ll try and keep at a level in terms of our aspirations, but understand that we are still a work in progress, with lots to improve on.

“We wanted to get to this point as a minimum because we haven’t been here for a while, so it's a pat on the back for the players, but we want more.

“The players are keen to progress. We want to be in the latter stages.”

The manner of the win in Italy was made all the more impressive by the fact it was achieved without Steph Houghton and Lucy Bronze.

The defensive duo were left at home as a precaution, with the captain having suffered with an achilles problem, whilst Bronze required rest following some recent treatment and Taylor was delighted with how his side performed without such influential players.

“Steph had an achilles problem from the Fiorentina game last week and it was just a case of it inflaming too much,” the City boss explained.

“We had to look at the bigger picture and who we had that we could bring in. This was after making the call on Lucy, who has had some treatment that required a period of rest.

“We looked at the international break. but we decided this was the right time and situation.

“What I love about this team is we make changes, we make tactical subs, normal subs, but it never really deters from the performance.”

There was further cause for celebration as Taylor took advantage of City’s comfortable lead to hand a European debut to Millie Davies.

The youngster replaced White with just under half an hour to play and the manager admitted she more than deserved her opportunity.

“We see her as an attacking midfielder,” he said. “She has the quality to play on the inside.

“She is still learning the game, she is young, but she has a great work ethic and a willingness to learn and when you have that you have a chance.

“She has areas to improve like all the girls. It is a nice reward for how she has done recently. It is really pleasing to see.”

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