Manchester City head coach Gareth Taylor says that he is looking forward to another special European tie when his side face Fiorentina at the Studio Artemio Franchi in the second leg of their UEFA Women’s Champions League round of 16 tie on Thursday afternoon.
City lead 3-0 from last week’s first leg and only a real catastrophe in Italy will deny them a place in the last eight.
With Taylor having only taken charge of City ahead of the current season, the former men’s academy coach is getting his first taste of UEFA Women’s Champions League football this term. Speaking in the pre-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present, Taylor admits that he is already feeling plenty of love towards the competition.
“I’ve really enjoyed it, they’re extra special these games,” said Taylor. “I have enjoyed all of my games and competitions that we have played in so far this season but I think that the Champions League is that little bit more special.
“It’s a real different format, there is a lot of tactical thought which goes on between games in terms of what is required and what is deemed to be a good scoreline to have in the first leg regardless of if you are home or away.
“They’re great, really exciting games and in the current climate, we are very fortunate to be able to travel to Florence.
“I am really looking forward to the game tomorrow.”
Discussing the potential threat of Fiorentina in the second leg, Taylor is unsure of whether the Italians will go at City from the first whistle or whether they will look to be more controlled in their play.
“They could do, we need to be aware of that,” said Taylor when considering the possibility of Fiorentina adopting a ‘shoot-on-sight’ approach. “Sometimes, when you have got nothing to lose you can see a team come out a bit braver.
“The last three teams we have played across the competitions have all been difficult to break down that low block.
“They could come that way tomorrow and potentially look at it as damage limitation but they could also come out and really go for it.
“We need to be alive and aware of that and I am sure we will be.”
Manchester City’s UEFA Women’s Champions League round of 16 second leg tie against Fiorentina kicks-off at 1pm on Thursday afternoon and will be available for fans to watch live on BT Sport 1 and on City+.