Women's Team

Reading v City: Taylor on team news

Gareth Taylor says Vicky Losada is pushing for a welcome return to action in Sunday’s FA Women’s Super League finale against Reading.

The midfielder has been edging closer to a comeback in recent weeks, having not featured since the end of February.

Ahead of this weekend’s trip to the Select Car Leasing Stadium, the Head Coach revealed the Champions League winner could be included in his matchday squad, depending on how she fares over the next few days.


“We are similar to the other night,” Taylor explained, asked of the latest team news. “We had a couple of little nicks [in Wednesday's game against Birmingham] that we have had to manage over the last couple of days.

“We are expecting the same numbers, maybe adding Vicky Losada to that and maybe Jess Park too, although Vicky is ahead of Jess so it might be a little bit too soon for her.”

City head to Berkshire looking to secure Champions League football for a seventh successive season with a third-place finish in the WSL.

With an FA Cup Final to contest next weekend, the Head Coach was asked whether he would have an eye on Wembley’s showpiece but asserted his side are looking no further than this Sunday’s crucial game.

“No, we can’t be in a position to look to the Cup Final,” he said. “That will take care of itself. We have business to finish off on Sunday.

“One of the strengths of the squad has been that we don't look beyond the next game. We are not secure on Champions League. We have worked hard to get to that position. We will focus on that job and then the job on Sunday.

“We want to get the job done and that will allow us to go into [next] Sunday with confidence. We are going to try our very best.

“The players have been very diligent and showed great desire. The team have worked so hard in getting us here and everyone is determined to finish the job off properly.

“It’s down to perseverance and hard work. Everyone has worked tremendously hard to turn the season around. We have done that. We’ve got one trophy in the locker and potentially another next week. Everyone wants Champions League football at this Club.”

City claimed a 2-0 win over Reading in March’s reverse fixture but left it late to claim victory, thanks to goals from Demi Stokes and Lauren Hemp.

Though the Royals have little to play for, comfortably sitting in eighth position, Taylor says his side have no margin for error, highlighting the importance a win would hold.

“There is nothing really [for them] to play for apart from pride and trying to earn a win,” he admitted. “We have to be mindful of that.

“We had success in the home fixture. They are a dangerous team. They work tremendously hard. We need to attack the game in the right manner, make sure we are switched on with and without the ball.

“We understand the danger – not just in terms of qualifying for the Champions League, but also in terms of finishing strongly. We have gone 12 wins in a row and this is chance to build on the record we set last season.”

Taylor also reflected on the news of goalkeeper Karen Bardsley’s retirement, hailing the City and England shot-stopper an ‘ambassador’ for City and for women’s football.

“Firstly, it is for us to be respectful of her decision,” he added. “She has had a long career at the top level for country and Club.

“She has been a huge part of City’s success. She offers a lot both on and off the pitches. She has been a really good ambassador for the Club and really good mentor for Ellie Roebuck, Khiara Keating and Karima Taieb.

“Life goes on and the next part is exciting for her. From us, there are nothing but kind wishes and thanks for everything she has done.”

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