Women's Team

Taieb buzzing for Derby debut

Taieb buzzing for Derby debut
Karima Benameur Taieb says she is rubbing her hands together at the prospect of making her Manchester Derby debut this afternoon.

The French goalkeeper has featured in all seven of City’s matches in 2021/22 – handed her chance between the sticks with fellow shot-stoppers Karen Bardsley and Ellie Roebuck sidelined through injury.

On Saturday, Taieb prepares to face Manchester United for the first time this season, as Gareth Taylor’s side look to return to winning ways in the FA Women’s Super League, and the 32-year-old says she is relishing the prospect.

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“A Derby is so exciting,” she said. “It will be my first Derby and I can’t wait to play in this match.

“For some weeks, I have been thinking about it in a small space in my mind.

“These games, you want to win even more. We always want to win and we’re always excited to play but during these games, you see the determination – you know it’s going to be a fight and you need to be ready.

“We want to keep the bragging rights and it will be so nice to have fans in the stadium for the Derby. We need our supporters all the time and it’s going to be good to have them close to us in the stadium against United.

“It’s going to be so exciting.”

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Taieb joined City three days before the first ever professional league clash between the two sides on the opening day of the 2019/20 season.

A little more than two years into her career in Manchester, the goalkeeper says she has been thrilled to see how her own game has developed and is delighted to be able to show what she can do.

“As a goalkeeper, you have to manage patience,” she reflected. “You have to work hard every day and know that one day, your chance will come.

“It’s not easy sometimes but you have to keep looking forward, working and focusing on your objectives. Now, it has happened – I have my chance to play and enjoy it.

“I have learned a lot during my time here. I’m happy to have seen my development. There were some differences in the goalkeeping between France and England, especially with Man City.

“I was 30 when I arrived. Sometimes, people say you can’t learn new things at 30 but I keep learning with my Goalkeeping Coach Chris Williams, and I feel more calm and confident.

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“City have a special way of playing, which I learned from the beginning, and I have learned some special techniques. I get to play with my feet – playing the ball very quickly to the defenders, as well as playing the long ball, and I’m happy to be learning that and putting it into matches.

“I’m happy and I’m enjoying being on the pitch, being part of the team. I know we have lost a few matches – and that I have conceded some goals – but I always look at how I can do better for the next match.

“We need to stay positive. The season is very long – there are lots of matches – and it’s just the beginning. There are a lot of things we can try to win.

“Each match, we can be better. I keep that in my head: to work each day to improve fir each match.

“Looking forward, I feel we can do something great.”

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