Women's Team

Taylor proud of professional performance

Gareth Taylor expressed his pride for his side’s performance under challenging conditions in Saturday’s Women’s FA Cup semi-final win over West Ham.

City booked our place in May’s Wembley showpiece with a thumping 4-1 win at West Ham in a lunchtime kick-off, having only returned from international duty on Thursday.

A brace from Lauren Hemp, plus goals from Ellen White and Chloe Kelly, secured our Final spot and Taylor was delighted with the manner of the display, given the circumstances.

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“I’m really pleased for the staff and players,” he said. “It’s great to get to another Wembley Final.

“I’m really proud of this team. We had a lack of preparation time on the back of an international break – we only had one training session with the group.

“Compared to our performance here previously [in the league], some of the play was good and we scored some good goals. There were some scary moments at times but we deserve our place.

“We know we’re going to create chances. We’ve disappointed with the goal we gave away but considering the prep time we had and the long journey down, we have to be really pleased with the way we performed.

“We probably gave away too many opportunities with some poor decisions on the ball, meaning we suffered a little bit on the counter-attack. We’d have preferred more control but we have to be really delighted – you’re never going to have it all your own way in a semi-final.”

Taylor also hailed Chloe Kelly’s contribution with the winger having marked her first start of the season with a goal, doubling City’s advantage with a cool finish.

“We had really good options. It’s great to have Chloe back,” he added, “in terms of scoring but also her performance was good.

“You never expect that type of performance when you’ve been out for a year, you’re coming back and you’ve only played 30 minutes.

“She wasn’t able to play 90 physically but she was a threat, she scored her goal and we’ve got such good options now we didn’t have. It makes such a difference.

“She knows she’s got levels to hit but when you’ve got the options we have, being able to bring on Hayley Raso for example, must be a nightmare for the West Ham defence.”

Player of the Match Keira Walsh also earned deserved acclaim from her manager.

“We always know in the way we play, someone will be free,” he added. “If Ellie Roebuck is the free player from the initial, we try and commit; once you commit the opponent… but today, a lot of it came through Keira Walsh.

“She was the free player and she controlled the game with and without the ball really well.

“We’ve got good games coming up. We just stick to our motto: ‘follow the process.’

“We do what we do, play how we play and whenever we’ve been successful, it’s been by doing what we do, getting the little details right.

“There’s real belief in this group of players that we’re moving in the right direction. It’s an exciting part of the season and it’s great to look forward to a Wembley Final.”

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