Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor during the warm up Chelsea Women v Manchester City Women Womens Community Shield football match, Wembley Stadium, London, UK - 29 Aug 2020 Photo: Lynne Cameron for The FA

‘They’ll be fighting for their lives’ – Manchester City boss Taylor expects a test from Ward’s Blues

Manchester City head coach Gareth Taylor expects his side to be provided with a real test by opponents Birmingham City at The Academy Stadium this afternoon.

Carla Ward’s side are three points above the drop zone with just two games remaining, although it remains to be seen whether the Blues are handed a points deduction for fielding an ineligible player in their recent 1-1 draw with Reading.

Despite Birmingham City currently being on course to secure survival, Manchester City boss Taylor expects the Blues to be difficult opponents at The Academy Stadium this afternoon.

“They’re fighting for their lives, they really are,” said Taylor when speaking in the pre-match press conference in which FAWSL Full-Time were present. “There aren’t any easy games, especially when you approach them.

“We are expecting a tough encounter, Birmingham will make it difficult for us like they did when we played at St George’s Park.

“We just have to work on what we work on and as much as we will pay the utmost respect to Carla and her team, we have to make sure that we implement our game plan.”

Despite taking on opponents much lower in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table, the fixture is a huge one for Manchester City in their bid to keep the title race going into next weekend. Taylor said that his side must remain calm and composed to deal with the latest fixture in the best manner possible.

“Birmingham will make it difficult,” Taylor added. “I remember the game (at St George’s Park) and it was a case of having to remain calm, composed.

“Composure will be the big one for us, I think we have had it in a lot of games this season where people just kind of expect us to roll over teams, particularly at home and we understand that.

“As a coach, it is one of the most difficult things to achieve, it’s not easy. Teams make it difficult by blocking up or going into a low block so we need to make sure that we are moving the ball quick enough, make sure we are making good forward runs, maintaining good ball speed in possession so that hopefully, we can take our chances when we get them.

“I am expecting a tough game, I really am but as long as we retain our composure, we will be ok.”

Manchester City’s Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture against Birmingham City is scheduled to kick-off at 3pm and will be available for fans to watch live on the BBC Red Button.

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