Women's Team

Taylor: Trio in contention for Everton

Taylor: Trio in contention for Everton
Gareth Taylor has confirmed Lauren Hemp could make her return from injury in Sunday’s FA Women’s Super League trip to Everton.

The PFA Young Player of the Year has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since the Community Shield curtain raiser in August.

The City boss received a further boost with the news Alex Greenwood and Chloe Kelly (who withdrew from the England squad) could also be in contention.

However, there was disappointing news regarding Megan Campbell’s long-awaited return, as the Republic of Ireland defender suffered a knock whilst on international duty.

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“Everyone has come back on Thursday,” Taylor explained.

“Some returned earlier than others – Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle came back earlier, as they played their only international game on Friday.

“The squad is looking quite good and we have a three-day lead into the Everton game before a heavy schedule starts in the lead-up to Christmas.

“We are hoping to get Lauren involved in a small part on Sunday.

“We’ve had to plan for this run of games and we have to manage her return carefully with the nature of her injury – not rushing her into too much, too soon.

“It will be great to have her back – a big boost for the squad.

“She’s a great girl and a top player and we’ve missed her.

“The girls have done great in the meantime but she’s a big player and she’s been sorely missed.

WATCH: Hemp: City is the place to be

“Alex and Chloe probably benefitted from being with us a bit longer. They’re looking good.

“Unfortunately, Megan has had a bit of a setback. She came back from camp with a slight knock, which will require a bit of further investigation.

“We have five games in 14 days – it’s a heavy schedule and we’re going to need everyone available.

“Some will play more minutes than others. We’re trying to get the balance right, especially when there are weeks with Sunday and Wednesday games with the Champions League.

“We need as many players fit and available as possible.

“In an ideal scenario, we’d probably look to have an established XI but it’s difficult to do, so it’s going to come down to players earning their stripes to get into the team. I love it that way.

“We have to look at the volume of games in a small period and it’s a big ask for players to play a lot of minutes.”

Sunday’s clash sees the Women’s FA Cup Finalists lock horns once more – for the fourth time this season, having already met in both cup competitions and a pre-season friendly.

With the two sides now familiar foe, both will be wary of each others' threats but Taylor has also warned of the Toffees' desire for revenge for City's Wembley triumph.

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

“We're familiar with them this season!” he added. “We'll be prepared.

"We've studied them previously and on the occasions they've changed things around, we've still managed to deal with what's been thrown at us.

“It will be another good game. Everton are a good team and they showed that by getting to the FA Cup Final.

“I'm sure Willie Kirk will have been thrashing that home: that they've made a good start and that while they'll have been disappointed to lose the Final, they can't let it affect them for the rest of the season.

“That's probably the toughest part of being a coach: transferring that message across to the players.

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“I'm sure they'll want to try and impose themselves on us and get us back a bit for the FA Cup, which is natural.

“The girls are aware of that and ready. We just have to go out and play our game and put in the performance we're looking for.

“December is a big month and we really want to end the year on a high.

“We have three really tough games in the FA Women's Super League - Everton, Arsenal and Birmingham, who have also made decent starts to the season.

“Of course, we want to progress in the Champions League too, although the Göteborg games will be tough.

“We'll be giving it our best to finish well and look forward to the Christmas period.”

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