Thu. May 26th, 2022

Karima Benameur Taieb says she is rubbing her hands together with the prospect of making her Manchester Derby debut this afternoon.

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The French goalkeeper has been involved in all seven of City’s matches in 2021/22 — handed his chance between the posts with other shot stoppers Karen Bardsley and Ellie Roebuck sideline due to injury.

On Saturday, Taieb is preparing to face Manchester United for the first time this season as Gareth Taylor’s side look set to return to victory in the FA Women’s Super League and the 32-year-old says she enjoys the prospect.

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“A Derby is so exciting,” she said. “It will be my first Derby and I can’t wait to play in this match.

“For a few weeks I have been thinking about it in a small space of my mind.

“These games you will win even more. We will always win and we are always excited to play, but during these matches you see the determination – you know it will be a match and you have to be ready.

“We want to keep the bragging rights and it will be so nice to have fans at the stadium for Derby. We need our fans all the time and it will be good to have them close to us in the stadium against United.

“It’s going to be so exciting.”

Taieb joined City three days before the first professional league match ever between the two sides on the opening day of the 2019/20 season.

A little more than two years into her career at Manchester, the goalkeeper says she has been thrilled to see how her own game has developed and is delighted to be able to show what she can do.

“As a goalkeeper, you have to manage patience,” she reflected. “You have to work hard every day and know that one day your chance will come.

“It’s not easy sometimes, but you have to keep looking ahead, working and focusing on your goals. Now it’s happened – I have my chance to play and enjoy it.

“I have learned a lot in my time here. I’m glad to have seen my development. There were some differences in the goalkeeper between France and England, especially with Man City.

“I was 30 when I arrived. Sometimes people say you can not learn new things as a 30-year-old, but I keep learning with my goalkeeping coach Chris Williams and I feel more calm and confident.

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“City have a special way of playing that I learned from the beginning and I have learned some special techniques. I’m going to play with my feet – play the ball very fast to the defenders, as well as play the long ball, and I’m happy to learn it and put it into matches.

“I am happy and I enjoy being on the pitch and being part of the team. I know we’ve lost a couple of games – and I’ve conceded some goals – but I’m always looking at how I can do better for the next game.

“We have to stay positive. The season is very long – there are lots of matches – and that’s just the beginning. There are many things we can try to win.

“Every match we can get better. I have it in my head: working every day to improve spruce every game.

“Looking ahead, I feel we can do something good.”

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