Manchester City kick off their UEFA Women's Champions League campaign on Wednesday when they play the first leg of their tie against Göteborg in the round of 32 away in Sweden.
Ahead of the match, Gareth Taylor and Ellie Roebuck spoke to the press.
Rose Lavelle's injury
USWNT international Rose Lavelle was forced off during Sunday's game against Everton with an injury, later seen on crutches. The City head coach confirmed that she has gone for a scan which should reveal the extent of her injury.
"We're a little bit too soon." Taylor said, "She's due to go for a scan [on Monday evening] so we should have a bit more news then but it's kind of fingers crossed on that.
"Obviously, crutches was a precaution so it probably looked worse than what it is so, yeah, it's fingers crossed, hopefully, it's not too bad because we were just trying to get Rose into a decent vein of consistency with games.
"She's had a few niggles here and there, she went away on the American camp and was limited in what she could do due to a slight niggle she had previously so fingers crossed we get some positive news on that one."
The scan later revealed that Lavelle is expected to be out for a 'short spell'.
From Sunday's fixture against Everton to the final game against Birmingham City before the winter break, Manchester City have a total of five games in thirteen days. When asked about the level of fixture congestion that the blues have to deal with, head coach Gareth Taylor said that it is something he is comfortable with.
"I love it, to be honest." he said, "I mean, I haven't got to play in those games but I love it from a coaching perspective and I'm pretty certain the players probably prefer more games rather than not enough.
"So, you know, when you haven't got a game and then there's an international break and the next game is a week away, I'd certainly prefer this way at this moment in time. Barring a couple of knocks here and there, we've got a squad that's able to cope with that and I think that was the important factor for us.
"We're always looking to improve, that will obviously continue beyond this season and the next because the level of competition and the level of recruitment going on by everyone has been impressive.
"So, you know, I'm comfortable with these games in these days and this one from yesterday to Wednesday is a quick turnaround - we get an extra day before we play on Sunday obviously, but then again we're straight into a Wednesday game on the return against Göteborg so it's full-on."
Playing on Astroturf
No side in the Women's Super League currently uses an astroturf pitch, but with the conditions in many nordic nations, they are much more popular abroad in top-flight football. When City play Göteborg on Wednesday afternoon, the game will take place on astroturf, but Taylor says that it is something which he believes many of the players have previously had to deal with.
"I think most of the players have been involved and have played on these types of surfaces previously." he said, "I think it's just, we always look at preparation, do we play on these and get used to it? Or sometimes we're probably just better off staying off of it.
"You get a similar feel, one thing you will get is a true surface, so you'll get a truer pass so hopefully, we don't get too many bobbles. It'll be interesting to see what it's like when we actually train there [on Tuesday]."
His statements were echoed by goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck, who said that she and other players are used to playing on artificial surfaces:
"I think, like he said, a lot of us have been used to playing on that - I know for me personally, that's all I used to play on so it's not too dissimilar to what I've been used to but I think as a team we're ready for anything really, we just prepare as normal and when we get there tomorrow, we'll almost know what to expect - get a good bit of training on there and hopefully that will prepare us well for the game."
Göteborg won the Damallsvenskan this year and were one of the more difficult sides who City could have drawn at this stage of the competition. When asked about his assessment of the opposition, Taylor said that they were an aggressive side but that his team have a game plan which they are confident in.
"They're an aggressive team, aggressive in the way they press, quite a direct team at times but we've identified a couple of areas where we can potentially gain some success." the head coach said, "But again, similarly to the Everton game yesterday, we have a game plan and a model that we want to execute but it still comes down to the basics and earning the right and doing all of the basic things we talk about really well in order to stay in the game."
One thing which may provide an advantage for the visitors is that it has been nearly a month since Göteborg last played a game and since then they have lost key players in Rebecka Blomqvist and Emily Sonnett.
"We'll certainly take confidence from that. It wouldn't be ideal for us - not playing for a month, losing a couple of players." Taylor said, "But again, I still expect it to be a really tough game, it's on their patch, it's on their surface that they're used to so things won't be easy for us but I'm really excited for it and looking forward to seeing how we do."
Improving this season
Under a new manager after Taylor joined the club in the summer, things have changed on the pitch at Manchester City, something which Roebuck says that she has enjoyed:
"I think this year, obviously, under Gareth [Taylor], it's been a bit of a different playing style and things like that but I've really enjoyed obviously learning new principles of play and things like that and I think that I can only get better, obviously, working under him and learning these new styles of play and I think as a team, we're really getting to grips with that now and it's shown in our recent performances."
In the past two years, City have exited the competition on the Round of 32 and Round of 16 respectively, being knocked out by Atletico Madrid on both occasions. For Roebuck, it is a competition which she and the rest of the team want to be successful in.
"I think over the past few years we've been obviously disappointed with being knocked out in the early stages and as a club that's not ideal, not what we want." she said, "But I think, like I've said previously, having the likes of Alex [Greenwood], Lucy [Bronze], Sam [Mewis], bringing them in in the summer, obviously has brought a lot of experience.
"We're really excited, we're looking forward to the challenge and it's obviously the competition that everyone wants to play in and if we can be successful in that then I'm sure we'll do everything we can to be so."