Gareth Taylor believes he is ready to handle the pressure of needing to deliver results as he steps in as manager of Manchester City Women.
The former Wales international has been working at City’s academy since 2011 but after years of focusing on the development of talent, the focus will now change as he follows his predecessor Nick Cushing in swapping the academy for the dugout.
“I feel personally that I’m ready for this moment,” Taylor said on a conference call. “It’s a big step up, a big responsibility but I’m looking forward to it.
TAYLOR 💬 I want to play winning football, with style and a bit of class.
It's a really good step up for me. Having had a playing career, I know what it means wanting to win, trying to win, behaving in the right manner.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 29, 2020
“I’m under no illusions – I need to be successful and I’m confident I can be.
“There’s always pressure when you go into first-team football, no matter what the level is, whether the objective is fighting for survival or trying to win competitions. I enjoy that and I wanted this next step and the pressure that comes with it.”
Cushing had led City’s women’s team since their inception in 2013 before leaving earlier this year to take charge of sister club New York City in Major League Soccer.
Taylor was once Cushing’s line manager when they both worked together in City’s academy, and Taylor revealed he had spoken to him at length before taking the job.
“He’s been a great sounding board for me,” he said. “It’s been great to see his growth and the opportunity that he’s had. The CFG (City Football Group) is special and the important thing is it’s not just about the growth of the players but the staff as well.”
Asked about his coaching philosophy, Taylor said he wanted to win with style, and revealed he counts the club’s men’s coach Pep Guardiola among his many influences.
“I’m a big fan of the first-team manager and I’ve been so fortunate to be able to get a glimpse of that and get some interaction,” he said. “Also Rodolfo Borrell (Guardiola’s assistant) and (academy director) Jason Wilcox.
“There are some really good people at CFG and the support there for you if you go and seek it out is great. It would be foolish not to use that.”
With the Women’s Super League season curtailed due to the coronavius pandemic, Taylor has some extra time to get his feet under the table, and discussions have already turned to planning recruitment for next season.
“If you want to progress, I don’t think you can rely solely on the young players,” he said.
— The FA (@FA) May 25, 2020
“Experienced players set the standards, so we’ll always have our eye on the talent that is available coupled with the work we’re doing in the academy.”
City’s head of women’s football Gavin Makel said there is not yet a timeframe on determining the final results of the season after the vote to end it, with the club still waiting to hear from the FA.
City sat top of the standings when the season ended, although second-placed Chelsea could have overhauled them by winning a game in hand.
“We’ll wait as long as we need to in many respects,” he said. “It’s a tough decision but we’ll be comfortable with whatever decision is made.
“We were disappointed (the season ended) as we could have gone on and added to our trophy cabinet this year, but we understand the decision.”