30 September 2020

Man City boss Gareth Taylor says Rose Lavelle will start soon as he prepares for FA Cup semi against Arsenal

Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor says fans won’t have to wait long to see new signing and US star Rose Lavelle make her debut.

“Rose has been training, training hard and I think what we are trying to do with her is just make sure when she is introduced, which is hopefully over the next couple of games, that she’s ready because she is quite slight in stature,” he said.

"She obviously had an issue when she first came to us with a slight injury. She's been really keen to get back in and join in on the matches, it's just a case of keeping the reins on her slightly before we let her go and do her thing. Hopefully we start to see that and again it gives us another option which is great.

“I think that's the thing now this season, we're building a squad for the next couple of seasons which will help us on [many] levels.”

Lavelle signed for City over the summer (Zuma Press/PA Images)

He said he didn’t want to rush Lavelle’s introduction as he didn’t want her to ‘break down’.

"It was an injury to her ankle or around her foot area that she picked up with her previous club so it was a case of making sure she had the adequate strength required in her leg before we started to push her through some vigorous training.

"I think that’s always a problem when you're taking players from another club and another continent in terms of their training programme and what it might look like in comparison to ours. I've seen a lot of mistakes happen in the past where they don't get that kind of initiation, they just get thrown in and next thing they are breaking down and that’s something we don’t want to happen with any of our players.

“So we have had to be patient, we've been fortunate that we have a decent stock of players in that position, in that kind of middle area already, certainly other players who are capable of playing there as well. So it’s allowed us to get that bit of time to get Rose right up to be ready."

Taylor was speaking ahead of City’s Women’s FA Cup semi-final tomorrow evening against Arsenal where his club have a home advantage he hopes to capitalise on.

“Tomorrow [we’re] against a good Arsenal team who have made a decent start and we'll obviously be looking to capitalise on that home surrounding and try our very best to progress to a final which would be great news for us.”

Taylor has not wanted to rush Lavelle to make her debut (PA)

Arsenal have started the season well and Taylor believes they offer a good test for his side.

He added: "We focus on a lot of things. We want to be free flowing in attack, we want to create chances, we want to score goals and obviously at the other end we want to concede as least as possible. 

"If that happens we have a good opportunity to win more games than we lose, so I think consistency and working to new concepts with the defenders have been great. But I think defending for me starts at the front, [the] top end of the pitch. 

“Arsenal have been fairly high scoring in their first few games so I think it's a good test for us tomorrow but [we’re] really confident in what we're doing so far and the clean sheets we’ve had is something we want to maintain.”

Man City v Arsenal kicks off tomorrow at 7.15pm and you can follow all the action live, here on NewsChain.

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