Gareth Taylor is ready for perhaps his biggest test to date as Manchester City face FC Barcelona in the UWCL. The City manager spoke prior to the match about Barca, his team’s attitude going in to match and updates on injured City players.
Let’s dive in-
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get Steph back in time which is a shame,” he said. “This came a bit too soon for her unfortunately.
“We anticipated it would have settled down by now. It’s in the achilles area from the first game against Fiorentina.
“It’s not settled down as Steph would like. She’s disappointed not to be here with the team.
“It’s difficult to answer when she’ll be back – hopefully it won’t be too far away but we look at what’s right for the player.
“We have to see the bigger picture and make sure they’re back for us for the remaining run in.
“We’re fortunate in that we have good cover. If you look at the last three or four games in all competitions, we’ve struggled for full-backs and had people who’ve done fantastic jobs like Esme Morgan and Georgia Stanway.
“We’re fortunate we’ve got Lucy back and Demi Stokes.
“We’d love the skipper back too but we got by without her previously versus Fiorentina.
“We have big personalities in the team with different types of leaders – those who lead with their voice and those with performance.
“It’s a good mix and we’re really confident at the moment. The players are enjoying the way we playe and the challenges we’ve faced.
“The way we develop our players in terms of building from the back, I don’t see an issue.
“Abby Dahlkemper’s a big player in big games. She’ll cope with it, no problem.”
“We’ve analysed a lot of their games, especially the cup competition they lost to Atletico Madrid. They struggled to impose their game in that one.
“In this competition, especially with a two-leg format, the game is never over after the first encounter.
“We have a lot to do still (regardless of the result) at the CFA. It’s putting everything into this game but also having one eye on the return fixture.
“It’ll be very interesting but this is what we’re here for: to challenge ourselves and to come up against really good teams.
“Everyone’s looking forward to it. It’s a good challenge for us and them and one we’re really looking forward to.”
It will be a fairly even contest. What a match we are in store for.