Manchester City head coach Gareth Taylor spoke to the press prior to the return of the Barclay’s Women’s Super League (WSL) as his side head to London to face West Ham United on Sunday (kick off 18:45).
His side come into the game on the back of a 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions and will hope another vital away win can help lift them steal a march on the top three, with Arsenal and Chelsea also facing each other this weekend. However, Taylor admitted he has been impressed with the fifth place Hammers under Paul Konchesky and knows his City team must start the new year in the same vein as they ended 2022.
“He’s done well. He’s probably benefitted from having a role with the club and working with Ollie (Harder, former West Ham manager) like he did for a few seasons, getting to know the players, getting to know the league, getting to know the level. He’s come in a calm way and got the players performing to a decent level. He’s been a really good appointment for them.”
Away from the pitch, the club are yet to dip into the transfer window but have been heavily linked with a move for Juventus’ Canadian playmaker Julia Grosso, with the club thought to hold a long term interest in the 22-year-old. The club have also been credited with an interest in Brighton forward Katie Robinson.
“I think you’ll see probably a little more business and we’ve already seen that from clubs in this window. Normally it is a window that there isn’t much activity. Last season we brought Julie (Blakstad) in during that period.
“At the moment, there’s still a couple of weeks left. At this moment in time, we are fairly comfortable with what we have, maybe some of our younger players will benefit from potentially going out and benefitting from playing week in, week out. But again I think decent availablity, decent squad numbers is going to be really key for us in the second half of the season.”
Taylor was also full of praise for the City fanbase after it was confirmed the club had completely sold out for the forthcoming top clash with Arsenal in February.
“I think it’s great. My time here as head coach has been a real interesting period. I started during lockdown with no supporters. Went to Wembley with no supporters and then with supporters. Seeing how the numbers have grown this season this season for sure, on the back of the Euros which captured the imagination. Improved people coming through turnstiles, viewing figures on TV.
“I think I noticed a real change this season. We played a Continental Cup game earlier this season and normally you would be expected a decent crowd but it looked like a WSL game in terms of the numbers and the support there. There’s big changes and I’m not surprised it is moving in this way.”