Manchester City’s women have settled into life in the English top flight and manager Nick Cushing is hopeful that their ‘unique’ style of play can bring them further success this season.
City lost away to table-topping Birmingham on their return to Women’s Super League action after the international break, but can bounce back at home to Sunderland this weekend.
Sunday’s Continental Cup tie will give City another opportunity to demonstrate the possession football which Cushing believes sets them apart in the women’s game.
“We definitely, in my opinion, play a unique style of play in the league, because we try to build from the back, we try and play through the thirds, we try and play attacking football all over the pitch,” Cushing told MM.
“That’s why we’ve acquired the players we’ve acquired, because they’re footballers, they like to be on the ball and they want to play offensive football.”
City made headlines with the high-profile signings of England internationals Karen Bardsley, Toni Duggan, Steph Houghton and Jill Scott, but Cushing insisted that there is more to the team than its star names.
“With all of our teams, our first team, under 21s and under 18s, they’re all part of the club. We have big, big international players that have real experience, but we also have real young talent.
“We believe in our young players, but we also understand that to be successful we need to have real quality in the team.
“We understand their mindset and the way they apply themselves to their profession is exceptional.
He added: “The senior players do some of my work for me by mentoring the younger players, and that’s why we’ve had 17-year-olds like Tash Flint and [England U19s goalkeeper] Alex Brooks making our squads and getting pitch time this season.”
Cushing’s priority now is getting his side back into the form which saw them win four consecutive games before international fixtures intervened.
They will be aided by this week’s capture of German midfielder Kathleen Radtke from FC Rosengard.
Cushing said: “There are areas we can improve, that we could have done more in, but we’re in a good place and we train and work hard every day to improve our game and put our footprint on the WSL.”
City captain Houghton said that all of the players were determined to repay the faith that had been shown in them by the club.
“I don’t think I could thank them enough, for how much time and effort they’ve put into the women’s team. They want to do things properly and professionally, both on and off the pitch.
“In terms of training we train as much as we can, we use the same facilities that the boys do, we get to play in the Regional Arena next to the Etihad, and in the Etihad [itself].
“As a player and as a squad we appreciate that and you want to give them something back when you get on the pitch.”
City’s England players will also be looking to get into their best form to carry into the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
England need one more point to confirm their place at the tournament, and captain Houghton is thrilled by the prospect of leading her country there.
“I think it’s a dream come true, to be given the chance to captain your country, it’s such a special moment.
“But to go on and qualify, and hopefully lead the team to Canada next year in the World Cup, it’s what every girl dreams of.”
Main image courtesy of Manchester City FC via YouTube, with thanks.