Gareth Taylor: Man City 'know what we need to do' to become WSL champions

  • Manchester City take on Aston Villa in their final game of the 2023/24 WSL season
  • City and Chelsea are both in with a shout of being crowned champions
  • Gareth Taylor says his side know what they need to do to get over the line on Saturday
Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor
Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Manchester City boss Gareth Taylor says his side have dusted themselves off after their defeat to Arsenal and know exactly what they need to do to become Women's Super League champions on Saturday.

After a shock to defeat to Liverpool at the beginning of the month, current holders Chelsea looked to have handed City the title with two games left to play. However, Taylor's side failed to capitalise on the gift presented to them when, a few days later, they suffered a defeat of their own at the hands of Arsenal.

Chelsea's win over Bristol City that same weekend, followed by a narrow victory in their game in hand against Tottenham, takes the race to the final day. The margins are so tight, it could come down to goal difference should both sides win their respective games on Saturday.

Taylor painted a cool and composed figure in his pre-Aston Villa press conference this week. He knows the sheer size of the task that lies ahead, but is confident his side have what it takes to get the job done.

"We understood we were playing a tough game [against Arsenal] and we know Saturday is going to be a tough game," he told the media. "The players have dusted themselves down really quickly.

"[After the Arsenal defeat] there was some feeling of frustration and probably a little bit of anger in there from everyone and that’s perfectly fine and perfectly normal. But, life gives you another chance on occasions and we have that on Saturday.

"We know exactly what we have to do. [Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Tottenham] was a really good one for us and it gives us a top objective to go after and to attack this game really well."

Lauren Hemp
Manchester City following their defeat to Arsenal earlier this month / Naomi Baker/GettyImages

Chelsea are currently in the driving seat as they lead City by two on goal difference, but face a tougher game on the final day as they travel to Old Trafford to take on FA Cup winners Manchester United. City, though, know they will need to be at their best to overcome a Villa team that has been able to get the better of them twice in their last four meetings across all competitions.

"We prepare exactly the same way was we normally would," Taylor continued. "Our objective in every single game, and this is full respect of the opposition, is to try and score as many goals as we can and concede as few as we can.

"We've done that really well this season. I think we've scored more than four goals on ten occasions in 21 games. We know that there's capabilities there and we know the team that we're playing against.

"We know they won't make it easy for us. But, we have more than enough within our ranks to be able to go and execute what we need to at the weekend."

This season represents a huge step forward for City after they missed out on Champions League qualification last term. After falling ten points adrift, Taylor's side have closed the gap this year and look a far stronger outfit, even with injuries to key players.

"It would be huge [to win the title]," the City boss said. "There is no denying it.

"I think we've really pushed the boundaries this season and pushed on from where we were in the summer and at the end of last season. Bringing in one world class player [Jill Roord], who unfortunately we've lost [to injury], shows the the amount of improvements we've made.

"All we wanted to be was in a position [to win], we've always said that."