Women's Team

Taylor provides squad update ahead of Arsenal clash

Gareth Taylor says the City squad is in good shape ahead of Sunday’s FA Women’s Super League clash with Arsenal.

City were boosted by the return of Caroline Weir in Wednesday’s 3-1 Continental Cup win over Bristol City, while Bunny Shaw also grabbed a brace on her first start since working her way back to full fitness.

Taylor’s side will hope to build on that result when we welcome the Gunners to the Academy Stadium, and he revealed in his pre-match press conference that there were no fresh injury concerns ahead of the tie.

The City boss also provided an update on the fitness of goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck, but admitted a potential return for Karima Taieb against Arsenal remains in the balance.

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“We’ve had a high volume of games in a short period, we've recovered well in the last couple of days and the team are working tremendously hard both on and off the pitch to make sure they recover in the right manner," Taylor declared ahead of Sunday's 18:45 (UK) kick-off.

"Everyone is looking good.

“(Ellie Roebuck) had another couple of training sessions under her belt, this weekend is too soon but our goalkeeper department is starting to get some better news. Karen Bardsley isn’t a million miles away either.

“We’ve had up and down sessions with Karima (Taieb) in terms of feeling some discomfort. This weekend will be too soon for Ellie, but she’s not a million miles away.”

City come into the tie hoping to claim a seventh successive victory in all competitions, with three points potentially propelling us into the WSL’s Champions League places.

The league leaders stand in our way, but Jonas Eidevall's side suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Birmingham in their last WSL outing, before bowing out of the Conti Cup quarter-finals at the hands of Manchester United in midweek.

But while Taylor is relishing the tie, he insists City will approach the game with the same mindset as any other match, regardless of both our own and Arsenal’s current form.

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He said: “It’s another game for us. Some teams are in better form than others at the moment. We struggled earlier in the season for various reasons.

"But the process for us remains the same. We take it one game at a time, we focus on this game on Sunday. And after that we look to the next one. 

“We expect a hard game, a tight game. We want to dominate as much as we can. We have to get the small details right.

“They had early success, scoring goals, high energy, and they have good attacking players like us.

“We’re looking forward to it. We are on our home patch again. It’s nice to be back at the CFA and now we want to get going on Sunday and that challenge in front of us.”

With key players returning to the fold and an impressive run of form beginning to develop, City’s disappointing start to the campaign is quickly becoming a distant memory.

Taylor agrees that spirits are high in the camp at the moment, but also praised the attitude his players showed during a difficult autumn spell.

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“Of course the mood is going to be so much better than what it was previously” the City boss reflected.

“Usually you find out about people and teams when the going gets tough and I felt we handled ourselves in the right way.

"Even in that tricky period, the players were trying to do the right things and be positive. We have more support now in a number of areas.

“We are high on confidence at the moment but we understand the game isn’t won on confidence alone.

"We have to get the details right and that will give us the best chance of being successful.”

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