Manchester City head coach Gareth Taylor has warned rivals Manchester United that there are no medals awarded for being top in November ahead of their blockbuster derby clash.
The meeting between the two rivals takes centre stage for the return of Women’s Football Weekend as league leaders United welcome the Citizens to Leigh Sports Village.
Casey Stoney’s side have won their last five games, including a statement-making 1-0 victory against Arsenal, to sit top of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League this season.
But despite United being the form side in the league coming into the contest, Taylor insists there is no need for City to worry just yet as there will be plenty more twists and turns to come.
“It’s going to be a great occasion, one that I’m really looking forward to,” he said.
“They’re currently at the top but there’s no medals in November as far as I’m aware – unless they’ve changed the rules – so there will be plenty more opportunities to come this season.
“Teams will take points off of each other. There’ll be some really important games and important moments and this is a really big one at the weekend and one we’re looking forward to.
“We are five or six games in and looking at the games that they’ve had, not being derogatory about the opponents that they’ve faced, but I could see them winning those games.
“The Arsenal game could’ve gone either way but I think they deserved their victory; I think they edged it. They’ve got decent players and a little bit of experience in there as well.
“So it’s no real surprise to me and no real surprise with the quality of the rest of the WSL.”
After a slow start to the campaign, Taylor’s side have started to find form in the past couple of weeks - starting with beating Everton 3-1 to clinch the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.
Since then, City have also defeated Liverpool 3-0 in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup before registering a record-breaking 8-1 win over Bristol City in the league.
And City’s head coach is relishing the opportunity to test United while welcoming the increased competitiveness in the league this season following the influx of world-class players.
“United have invested, they’ve also got two World Cup winners [Tobin Heath and Christen Press] in their squad as well so you’ve seen a change in their objectives this season,” he said.
“Casey [Stoney] is a really good coach and has been around the women’s game for a long time and she’s got that real experience. You want to have real good levels of competition in the WSL.
“You don’t want it to be about two or three teams and I think you’ve seen that this season already that there’s a number of clubs who are trying to improve and trying to impress.”
Games across the Women’s Super League will be staggered for the return of Women’s Football Weekend so fans are able to watch all the games live without any kick-off clashes.
Last season saw record attendances across the weekend and although fans are unable to attend this year due to Covid restrictions, Taylor hopes fans will watch from home.
“I think there’s real good coverage at the moment, I’ve seen a big change even since I started the job and I’ve always been a big fan even in my previous role,” said Taylor.
“We have the unfortunate part where the fans can’t share that with us which would’ve been extra special but I think with the games being staggered, people can watch.
“I’m sure supporters will be watching us from home. I was fortunate enough to play in quite a few derbies at various clubs and coaching-wise this is what you want to be involved in.
“You want to be involved in a game with your city rivals and it’s a big occasion and this is one that I’m really looking forward to. I hope it’s not just a flash in a pan and that it continues.
“Like I say I’ve been really excited about the amount of change that we’ve seen so far in the exposure and hopefully that continues to play a part in the future.”
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