Man City’s WSL season ‘not irreparable’


Gareth TaylorManchester City have suffered three successive WSL defeats

Manchester City’s Women’s Super League season is “not irreparable” after a difficult start, says manager Gareth Taylor.

Last season’s WSL runners-up have won just one of their four league games so far this time around.

On Saturday, they face Manchester United, who sit five places above them in fourth.

“Our league situation doesn’t look good at the moment but a few wins change all of that,” Taylor said.

“We understand the situation we are in and we are realists in that respect.”

United, only formed in May 2018, will be looking to beat City for the first time in the WSL in a game broadcast live on BBC One from 13.15 BST on Saturday.

Taylor says it has been “important to remain positive” and that having such an outlook is “not a front”.

Last Sunday, Taylor said he was the right person to take City forward after they suffered a 2-0 home defeat by West Ham.

It was a second successive home league defeat and came after they were thumped 5-0 by Arsenal.

“There are fine margins between success and failure,” he said.

“When you look at our games in isolation and the detail and content within them, we’re not too far away.

“I saw a stat from the 5-0 loss in the Arsenal game – which I didn’t think felt like a 5-0 loss – both teams had 16 shots on target. That shows we are at the sharp end of it and this is where you find out who the characters are.”

Can Spurs maintain strong start?

When Tottenham overcame City at the Academy Stadium in September, it was their first victory over a club who have collected seven major trophies in the past seven years.

Spurs have made their strongest-ever start to a WSL season, winning four games from four to sit level on points with leaders Arsenal.

Rehanne Skinner, who is in her first full season in charge of Spurs, says “it’s important that we don’t take our foot off the gas” when they face fourth-placed Brighton on Sunday.

“Obviously we set out with the intent to improve this club,” Skinner said.

“That’s my job – to take us to another level and make sure we’re consistent performers that are getting towards a position where we’re able to compete with the more established teams.

“I’m really pleased with the way we’ve started. We’ve shown a variety in our game early on too to get results.

“We want to keep that up but it’s a long season. We need to maintain it and ultimately we want to be in a solid position at the end of the season.”

Spurs have beaten Brighton three times in four WSL meeting since been promoted to the top flight.

“They are a bit like our nemesis,” said Brighton boss Hope Powell.

“We’ve always had really tough games against Tottenham. It should be an interesting encounter again on Sunday.”

‘A point or three would be huge’

Elsewhere on Sunday, second-from-bottom Reading are searching for their first win of the season when they host sixth-placed Aston Villa.

Villa manager Carla Ward said it “would be huge to get a point or three” from the game before an international break that will not see them play another WSL match for four weeks.

“I absolutely can’t stand international breaks,” Ward said.

“We’re going to lose quite a lot of players. We’ll only have seven or eight left behind, which is a credit to the group. They’re too long.

“It’s more frustrating. I can’t imagine anybody sat in my position saying it’s helpful other than maybe those teams who have got loads of injuries.

“You just want to play games, the fans want to see games and the players want to play games.”

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