Gareth Taylor believes the trust within the Manchester City squad was pivotal to his side’s second half of the season renaissance and surge into the WSL’s final Champions League place.

A depleted City lost three of their opening four matches of the 2021/22 WSL campaign and were knocked out of the Champions League before the group stages, but as key players returned from injury they transformed their fortunes during the second half of the season to leapfrog rivals United into the final European spot.

Taylor’s side won their last nine WSL matches, scoring 21 goals in their final four outings to finish third, five points ahead of rivals United and nine points shy of league champions Chelsea.

“I think at times people have been quick to judge us from the outside world,” Taylor said. “But inside the organisation has been great, we’ve trusted each other and we’ve got there.

“Mission accomplished – you think about where we were after seven or eight games into the season, to do what we’ve done is amazing. I think it takes a real collective to do that, behind the scenes and the players have obviously been great. I’ve been demanding of them – to go on the consecutive winning run we’ve been on has been superb.”

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