“It helps us build momentum, it helps us grow, everyone is getting an opportunity, we’re not an 11-woman squad we’re a 22-woman squad. There’s an opportunity for everyone to play for everyone to showcase what they’re doing. We’re going to enjoy as many games as we can.”
Gareth Taylor, the Manchester City head coach, remained tight-lipped about whether US World Cup winner Rose Lavelle would make her long-awaited debut in Thursday’s cup tie. The midfielder has been nursing a minor foot injury since her arrival from OL Reign in America’s National Women’s Soccer League.
Should Lavelle feature alongside her compatriot Sam Mewis, the pair could come up against familiar faces in Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema and Danielle van de Donk, their opponents in last year’s World Cup final between the US and the Netherlands.
“Rose has been training hard, what we’re 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,” said Taylor.
“She is quite slight in stature and 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 start joining in the matches. It’s just a case of keeping the reins on her slightly before we let her go and do her thing.”
Against Arsenal, who are record 14-times winners of competition, Stanway hinted there is perhaps no better occasion for Lavelle to make her bow. “Some people could almost call this a final because of the two top teams that are in it,” the forward added.