Women's Team

Taylor: Hats off to the players

Gareth Taylor says he is immensely proud of the fighting spirit shown by his players in Saturday’s 2-2 Manchester Derby thriller.

Despite being a player down for the majority of the game with Georgia Stanway sent-off before the break, City fought back to salvage a late point, having fallen 2-1 behind with just 15 minutes to go.

With a makeshift backline which included forward Stanway and midfielder Jill Scott, the visitors battled admirably to preserve a precious point and although he believes the team deserved more, he hailed his squad’s stoic effort.


“I think there’s a slight disappointment we didn’t win it,” he admitted. “It’s not easy to take.

“Even when we went to 10 men,  we scored and had a good chance to go 2-1.It was a rollercoaster and when you’re staring at a loss, reluctantly it's a fair point.

“The circumstances were our own doing – seeing the challenge, you can see why it’s a red card but we showed great spirit.

“I take my hat off to the players. We were trying to hold on away from home with a noisy crowd.

“I thought we showed great character, spirit and determination and when you look at who was missing, I thought the girls did great today. 

“When you’re holding on and trying to see the game out – at one point I thought we might – we looked comfortable.

“It was a soft goal to give away [for the equaliser]. Janine [Beckie] leaves that space at the near post and Jill doesn’t adjust.

“I’d said at half-time not to give it away. It’s hard to maintain those concentration levels with ten men but regarding Georgia as well, it’s a learning curve and we need to be smart in those situations. Teams will try to exploit set plays.

“To go behind like we did and fight back was fantastic. The players deserve great credit and we intend to build on that.

“I was a bit disappointed we didn’t stay at 11v11. I think we have won in that situation. For me personally, I’d like to see us stay even and when we controlled the possession well, we arrived well and created good chances.

“There were great saves from Earps, a block on the line and numerous other opportunities.

“The red card comes and people aren’t expecting us to score, then we could’ve gone two up before half-time.

“It was disappointing to only be taking one point but to have come back shows the group we have at the moment.

“The support we had from the sidelines too from the injured players was pretty incredible.”

Reflecting on the red card, awarded for a high lunge from Stanway on Leah Galton, Taylor agreed it was the right decision.

“It’s a red card,” he added. “The referee had a better view than I did – the fourth official said it was reckless.

“I think Galton covered the challenge so I couldn’t see it but on reflection. it’s a disappointing one and an easy decision to make.

“We know Georgia’s a fiery player and is doing a job for the team out of position but that doesn’t change that we need payers to be sensible and not give away opportunities to be punished.

“It’s a learning curve, that’s all it is. Georgia’s young and hopefully, she takes that lesson on.”

Taylor also reserved praise for strikers Shaw and White, as well as stand-in centre-back Scott and youngster Jess Park, who made an instant impact from the bench, smashing a powerful effort off the crossbar to force the equaliser.

“That’s why Jill played today,” he continued. “She’s a great character, the girls gravitate to her.

“Alannah [Kennedy] and Ruby [Mace] aren’t doing anything wrong but I couldn’t take Jill out the team dynamic.

“The back four dealt with things pretty well. It’s an alien position for Jill but having her there for her leadership has helped massively.

“Jess’ was a fantastic strike – from that distance as well to keep it down. I’m not sure if Earps got a touch but I feel like we deserved that.

“We’ve got two really good strikers who have both scored today. It’s what we need and want.


“We haven’t been able to get as much competition for places elsewhere but we’ve got two great strikers and Jess Park as well.

“We need them to step up there’s more to come from Bunny, she needs to impose herself more, but we saw flashes today when she’s in the right areas – same with Ellen. We’re really pleased.

“We haven’t got much for our efforts in recent weeks but never feel like we’re a million miles away.

“In all the games we’ve been unsuccessful in, we’ve played some good stuff and created some good chances but we also know the game is won in both boxes.”