Manchester City Women’s manager Gareth Taylor says the blues must show fire when they entertain Chelsea at the Academy Stadium on Sunday afternoon. City are just two points behind the WSL leaders and victory will take them above Emma Hayes’ side, who have a game in hand on the blues.
It’s the most open title race for a few years, with Arsenal and United joining the blues and Chelsea in the challenge to be crowned WSL champions. However, City face a psychological barrier in the fact that they have never beaten Chelsea in the WSL under Taylor, and that will have to change if the blues want to win silverware this season.
A draw will be a huge blow to the blues, while defeat is likely to end their title charge and possibly their hunt for a Champions League spot, and Taylor highlighted the importance of taking three points against the reigning champions.
“We need to win at the weekend. It’s as simple as that,” said the boss, who will have a full-strength squad to choose from against the London Blues. But, despite the blues needing a win, Taylor dismissed thoughts that a draw would rule City out of the title race.
“I think a draw is not a disaster but it can feel like that in this league, especially with the makeup of it with not many games. “Sometimes a draw can cost you a league title.”
And, speaking of the match, Taylor explained the desire he wants to see on the pitch. “I want to see the fire in the players’ eyes which I’m seeing at the moment, and I want to see the bit between our teeth ready to take on the challenge.”
The WSL title represents City’s only chance of claiming silverware this season after suffering extra-time agony in both the League and FA Cup competitions. Arsenal scored an extra-time winner in the semi-final of the League Cup, while Rachel Daly’s 97th-minute winner knocked the blues out of the FA Cup.
“We’ve suffered setbacks but the team bounced back,” Taylor explained. “Regardless of what happens at the weekend I’ve been really positive with the signs that I’ve seen and I think there’s a determination in the players to maybe right a few wrongs. If you look at the game at the weekend it’s always about final bits and decision-making.
“The game never changes, if you don’t take those moments you leave yourself vulnerable. It’s not the first time it’s happened and it won’t be the last.”
City face Chelsea on Sunday, with a 1240 kick-off at the Academy Stadium.