Man City star playing ‘best football we’ve seen’ amid England recall claims

Manchester City boss Gareth Taylor believes Steph Houghton is playing the best football of her career as calls for her Lionesses recall intensify.
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Houghton, who turned 35 yesterday, has not been part of a Lionesses squad for almost a year after she was left out of last year’s Euro 2022 squad by Sarina Wiegman but continued her excellent recent form with a goal in Manchester City’s 6-2 win over West Ham in the Women’s Super League (WSL) last night.

Wh current England captain Leah Williamson ruled out of this summer’s World Cup due to an anterior ligament injury there have been calls to restore the 121 cap City defender who has been in excellent form in the new year and Taylor shared his thoughts on a potential recall.

“That's not for me to say. We are happy to have Steph. She does really well as a player on and off the pitch. This period, I've spoken previously and said she is probably playing some of the best football that we've seen” said Taylor.

“She's got bags of experience and she brings a calming influence to the team. I think it is up to Sarina. She will have her own ideas and plans in place. If that includes Steph great, if not, nothing changes from our perspective.”

The 50-year-old Welsh boss was delighted to see his side chalk up their biggest win of the season, as goals from Chloe Kelly (2), Laura Coombs Bunny Shaw, Houghton and Mary Fowler saw them rise to second in the WSL table as the season draws to a close.

Taylor’s side now face a crunch final four games as they look to solidify their Champions League qualification and the head coach admitted they can ill afford to drop any points as the race for the top three intensifies.

"All of the games are so important until the end of the season and there's no margin for error. I've always said this. We had five games before tonight and we had to make sure we win everyone of those. Whatever happens elsewhere happens” said Taylor in the aftermath of the victory.

“It looks better for us, going second. What other people think is it up to them. It’s such a difficult league, tighter margins. You drop a point here or there and it can be really detrimental to your bid.

“The run we have been on is really impressive, the football we've played - I was impressed with a lot of the things we did tonight - we had some moments where we were a little bit lose in our pressong which helped West Ham to gain a little bit more ground on us but overall the win at the stage of the season was super important.”