Gareth Taylor has hailed Steph Houghton’s influence on Manchester City and revealed her rallying half-time call in our 4-0 Barclays Women’s Super League win over Bristol City.

Following a goalless first half with a Vixens side who needed three points to avoid relegation, we produced a fantastic display after the break to collect a vital victory.

Mary Fowler broke the deadlock with a stinging drive from the edge of the area before she doubled our advantage ahead of an own goal and Alex Greenwood’s first of the season.

It was exactly the response needed as we relentlessly pursue a second-ever league crown before the season’s end.

And the boss says it was sparked by, Club captain, Houghton’s meaningful words to the group during the interval.

“Great credit to the players, everyone’s really contributed a lot. I made a special note of speaking to the guys afterwards who don’t get onto the pitch,” Taylor explained.

“The influence of Steph at half-time, the way she spoke to the players and drove that performance in the second half which made my job easier.

“It’s great credit to her because that’s not an easy job, but she is really there for the team. That’s what I like about this group is everyone works hard for each other.

“[Steph said] a few expletives, but it was more around the opportunity we’ve got and we’re not going to come here and blow it.

“Blow it being flat and not ourselves and maybe not showing the right energy, that was all it was and like I said she just captures it at the right time with the right words.”

Next up for City is a seismic WSL clash with Arsenal at the Joie Stadium with Taylor’s team sitting at the division’s summit.


Not only does it represent our final home match of the term, but also Houghton’s last in an illustrious career after she announced her retirement from the sport in March.

In what’s shaping up to be an exciting end to the season, Taylor explained Houghton’s integral role in our superb campaign so far.

He added: “The players really respond to her and she’s always first in the team talk or the last to speak to the players before they go onto the pitch and she’s been amazing in that sense.

“Her role this season has changed of course, but she’s done it amazingly well.”

Watch Taylor’s full post match interview in the video player above!