·28 November 2022
·28 November 2022
However, the Barclays Women’s Super League club didn’t have everything their own way at The Academy Stadium despite taking an early lead through Julie Blakstad. Gareth Taylor’s side were kept at bay by the Wearsiders who restricted the hosts to just two shots on target in the opening 45 minutes. Still, they were finally able to find that allusive second goal, and eventually a third, shortly after the interval as they rounded-off a 3-0 victory.
“I think we upped our levels in the second half,” Taylor stated when speaking in the post-match press conference. “There were some good parts (in the first half), I thought the first goal was good composure from us.
“There are still lots of areas I think we can improve on.”
A big positive for Taylor and his team was the return of Steph Houghton. She made her first start for the club since their 6-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers in the first FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup group game. Taylor was complimentary of the player’s performance.
He said “Good, she played a really good pass through for the goal as well. It’s good for Steph to be back out there, getting minutes under her belt and contributing but she contributes in a lot of other ways, whether she’s playing or not playing.”
It is a testing time for Taylor and his squad as the games come thick and fast in the lead up to Christmas. The Cityzens have three tough tests in the space of eight days as they face Brighton & Hove Albion and Liverpool before a huge Manchester derby clash against bitter rivals United at the Etihad stadium. Taylor has no concerns about the challenges that await his side before the Christmas break.
“Me, I prefer playing games,” Taylor said. “The players prefer playing games, it’s where you build rhythm. We’ve got a decent week now in our build up to Brighton, that’s the game we’re focused on, not the derby.”
After a shaky start to the season with defeats at the hands of Aston Villa and Chelsea, as well as being knocked out of the UEFA Women’s Champions League, there were many questions hovering around Taylor and his team. However, they are currently on a seven-game winning run in all competitions having conceded only two goals in that period. That also includes their two victories in the FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup where they’ve scored nine goals without reply. The recent good run has given Taylor and his team some real rhythm going into a crucial time in the footballing calendar.
View publisher imprint