Women’s Super League: Man City boss Gareth Taylor talks form, and battle with Man Utd for Champions League spot | Football News

Manchester City Women head coach Gareth Taylor is relishing the race for the FA Women’s Super League third Champions League spot – particularly as their direct challengers are as local as they come.

City are fighting it out with the red side of Manchester for a place in the top three, with the WSL title likely to be contested by frontrunners Chelsea and second-placed Arsenal.

With the season charging towards a fascinating conclusion, Taylor’s side currently trail United by three points but have a game in favor after last weekend’s Birmingham City clash was postponed.

Taylor believes City are well positioned to beat their rivals to a top-three coup – providing they navigate their remaining five league fixtures without any serious hiccups.

Gareth Taylor says consistency and players recovering from injury has helped turn City’s season around

“We’re really pleased to get ourselves in a position that it’s in our own hands,” he said. “We know that if we win our games, it’s enough. That’s what we always wanted.

“It’s credit to the players that we’ve turned form around. Form has been really good.

“Again, it counts for nothing [if we don’t continue to win games]. Who is to say – there may be some strange results between now and the end of the season?

“We just need to make sure we give our very best and if it’s enough, it’s enough, and if it’s not, it’s not. It’s exciting and it’s a challenge we’re looking forward to and dealing well with.”

Similar fortunes?

Manchester City & # 39; s Chloe Kelly, center left, celebrates scoring her sides first goal in the Women & # 39; s Super League soccer match between Manchester City Women and Tottenham Hotspur Women (Pic: AP Photo / Dave Thompson)
Chloe Kelly celebrates scoring her sides first goal in the WSL match between Man City and Spurs

Taylor likened the flux of this season to that of 2020/21, where City hit a rocky patch midway through the term but recovered valiantly to put together a record run of ten WSL victories.

He believes that a combination of available personnel and establishing consistency within the group has led to City’s ascent up the table in recent months – claiming that his side will be a “different proposition” to the one West Ham faced in October, where the Hammers were 2-0 victors.

“Yeah, I think we’re a different proposition now, but I still want to mention to the players that this is dangerous opponent. Most teams are in the WSL. There’s never an easy game.”

He continued: “We’ve tended, this season and last, to show our best run of form in a real heavy schedule, where you are playing every three or four days. That doesn’t bother us, in that respect; we actually prefer it.

“This happened last season; we had a couple of iffy results around September and November and then went on to break the WSL record for most consecutive wins. I just feel it’s time working with the players, working on the rhythm. There are similarities between this season and the last – this season was more severe. “

Sky Blue vs Red

Hayley Ladd of Manchester Utd tackles Demi Stokes of Manchester City during the The FA Womens Super League match at the Etihad Stadium in 2019 (Pic: Andrew Yates / Sportimage)
Hayley Ladd of Manchester Utd tackles Demi Stokes of Manchester City

Heading into the business end of the season, Taylor is targeting an unbeaten run-in, which would ensure Man City claim third place at the expense of United. Either way, the climax is sure to be a nail-bitter.

When questioned about the significance of battling it out with their rivals for one of the top three spots, he said: “We know if we do that [remain unbeaten] then it’s enough. By doing that, we’d increase our goal average as well.

“We attack the next game. There’s a lot of hard work still to go into the remainder of the season and we feel we’re in a good place to really take on that challenge at the moment.

“There’s always going to be that cross-city rivalry. It’s always going to be there. It would be slightly different if the tie for third spot was with Spurs.

“So yeah, we’re aware of that. The closer you are in proximity is always going to create some more tension. But for us, it’s about keeping things normal and taking care of the games in front of us.”

Growing the game in Manchester

Manchester City Women fans before FA Women & # 39; s Super League match between Manchester City Women and Birmingham City Ladies at the Academy Stadium (Pic: Lynne Cameron / Sportimage)
Manchester City Women fans before a WSL match between Man City and Birmingham City

Taylor finished by discussing the competition for growing attendances at women’s football games in Manchester as the popularity of the game in the region continues to increase at an exponential rate – with more eyes than ever on the Sky Blue side as they attempt to usurp their neighbors.

“I can only see it going from strength to strength,” he added. “United held a game at Old Trafford last week, which had good support. We had our record crowd when we hosted United recently.

“It’s moving in the right direction. It still needs more of a push; it needs people within it fighting to get more for the girls to be able to showcase their talents. It’s being pleased with where we’re moving it to, but obviously really hungry to push it on further. “

Watch the Women’s Super League contest between West Ham and Manchester City on Sky Sport Premier League from 11am on Saturday.

Saturday 2nd April 11:00 am

Kick off 11:30 am

Follow the WSL on Sky Sports

Sky Sports – All 35 games will be available across Sky Sports’ flagship channels, including Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event.

Sky Sports digital – Follow all the latest from the WSL across SkySpots.com and app, including exclusive features and interviews, plus dedicated live blog coverage and in-game clips from games live on Sky Sports. You can watch free match highlights from every WSL game this season on Sky Sports’ digital platforms and YouTube channel.

Sky Sports News – Running 24 hours a day, seven days a week Barclays FA WSL fans can enjoy Sky Sports News (channel 409) rolling editorial coverage of the league and its storylines throughout the season.

Inside the WSL – Hosted by award-winning broadcaster and journalist Jessica Creighton, Inside the WSL is a comprehensive round-up of all things Barclays FA Women’s Super League and women’s football. Airing weekly from Thursday, September 9 on Sky Sports Premier League, the half an hour show will review and preview matches, include in-depth analysis and exclusive player interviews. Viewers can expect gripping behind the scenes access as well as a summary of all the action both on and off the pitch.

Sky Sports Social – Alongside coverage and visibility for the league across all Sky Sports’ main social media channels, a new bespoke Twitter channel @SkySportsWSL will be the home of all Barclays FA WSL content on Sky Sports.

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