Jill Scott says City need to use the charged platform in Saturday’s Manchester Derby to showcase the team’s unity and match.
A natural leader in the squad, City and England midfielder has stepped into the fray in recent weeks and deputized in an unknown role in central defense to help in the midst of an injury crisis.
Committed, passionate and selfless, the 34-year-old is a highly respected figure in the game who has always put the team’s needs first.
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An influential voice – both on and off the field – many look up to the MBE recipient for her wisdom and experience, especially in challenging periods.
Scott in particular was one of the leading lights in the locker room at half-time of the first professional Manchester Derby ever in September 2019, delivering an exciting team talk to inspire a much-improved display in the second half, which ultimately got a historic victory.
While the team looks set to bounce back from their recent setback after a disappointing run, Scott is hoping for a similarly resilient response.
“As a team, I feel like everyone is really together,” she said. “Sometimes you can post things on social media and throw words out there but not tag them, but‘ together ’really describes this team.
“The results this season have hurt a lot and I am sure they have hurt the fans too. We know how important these upcoming games are.
“The Manchester Derby is so exciting. For years it’s something we did not have but really wanted it now is extra special.
“The fans will be back – we always have great support: at home or away – and it is always a violent atmosphere that just increases the opportunity.
“Looking back on the first Derby at the Etihad, the first half was definitely played with nerves – on both sides. It was a bit like a game of chess and there were not many chances.
“Neither team would put a foot wrong – we both played in ‘safety mode’ – but we got together at half-time, and in the second half we really got on top of them and used our experience and we got everything – important goal for to win it.
“Of course, the goal at the end of any Derby game is to make sure Manchester are still blue. I’m sure it’s going to be another great match on Saturday. ”
The inaugural League Derby meeting was decided by a lone stroke of power and precision from the boot of midfielder Caroline Weir.
Although Scott has 25 goals to his name during his seven-year stint at City, including his own winner of a Manchester Derby FA Cup showdown, the English legend has called the Scottish national team’s memorable winner her all-time favorite.
“Having scored such a goal in a Derby game in front of 31,000 people was incredible,” she reflected. “I get goosebumps from talking about it!
“It was such a fantastic moment – not only for Caz as an individual, but also for the team. Having won such a special game with a goal like that … These moments do not come very often.
“When it was played at Etihad, there were so many different camera angles too, so she can see it over and over for a long time!
“Fair play for her for having the audacity to try it! People may have just seen the outcome of that goal, but we see her do it in training most weeks, and it was good to see what happens when people stick to the process and see things they work hard on when training. turns into something.
“She’s a great player — one of the most technically gifted players in the game — and it’s great to have her on our team, especially when she can score such goals!”