Manager Gareth Taylor said he was proud of City’s bravery as they thrashed Aston Villa 5-0 to record their first home WSL win of the season.
The blues had lost their last two matches and victories over Everton, Durham and Leicester, and a late 2-2 draw at United were all Taylor’s side had to show for their efforts in what has been a difficult first half of the season.
But the blues turned on the style and scored five second half goals against Villa to give the manager and the team a boost going into the international break. And in his post-match interview, Taylor revealed how he had spoken with the girls and that he was proud of their bravery.
“I thought it was a good performance. We scored some really good goals. These games always difficult, and Villa are a difficult proposition. So, I have to my take hat off to the players… I thought we showed real bravery. I spoke to the players at the end about making sure we use this feeling and the energy, most of all… how proud I was of their bravery.”
Taylor has come under pressure in recent weeks as City’s form has taken them from potential title contenders to mid-table, and Wednesday’s midweek defeat to Manchester United will no doubt have left the boss wondering how much longer his tenure would last.
But Taylor says he made a slight tactical change in the second half, which lead to City taking full control of the match. “I was quite calm at half-time. In those moments, you have to be calm, if you start to panic it sends a negative vibe.
“We looked at a slight tactical change, we pushed Filippa higher up the field with Georgia more central position and at 1-0, the spaces changed, we adapted. The girls took that on really well.”
And Taylor also revealed his back-up plan should goalkeeper Karima Benameur Taieb suffer an injury or receive a red card. “Georgia was back-up,” Taylor said. “We had to get a shirt printed in case. We went straight to Georgia and told her what it was. It was touch-and-go with Grace. Unfortunately, it was a minor injury but hopefully, not something that will keep her out for long. It’s another injury we could do without. We got away with it today.
“There are personnel who are playing out of position but giving their best. They’ve been thrust into situations, and we need that type of attitude. I have never questioned their attitude or intentions, even in some failures.”