Manchester City Women manager Nick Cushing is desperate for more ‘addictive’ success ahead of his side’s Women’s Super League opener against Birmingham City Ladies.
The defending Continental Cup champions kicked off their season in the first round of the Women’s FA Cup earlier this week, going behind inside five minutes to WSL 2 team Doncaster Rovers Belles.
However two goals from loan signing Nikita Parris and a late strike from Toni Duggan saw the home side finish 3-1 winners, and Cushing is confident that this is a better side than the one that finished fifth last year.
“We want to be a better team than last year, and keep improving,” said the former MCFC Academy coach.
“This time next year I’ll probably still be looking at areas we can improve on, but we all share the same feeling of success. This team has an addictive feeling about success, and we want more.
“We’re still only in our second year, and as long as we make sure we’re better today than we were yesterday, then we’ll be happy with our performance, and we’ll have a league position we’re a bit happier with.”
Just one point separated the top three sides in last year’s Super League, but City found themselves seven points off the pace at the end of the 14-game league season.
Ahead of their pre-season tour to Abu Dhabi, it has been a long busy winter for Cushing’s team, adding no fewer than six new signings to the squad.
“We put a strategy together for the profile of player we wanted, and we’ve added some really exceptional people,” said Cushing.
“The girls we’ve added have a real enthusiasm for football and a passion to improve every day.
“They’ve fitted in really well because their values match our values, so it’s been really easy in that sense, and this team is improving every day.
“We’re happy to be back training. We’ve had a lot of meetings to review last season and to review our own performance as a support team.
“I’ve personally watched a lot of footage of our own work, and other good teams out there to try and improve and learn from them.”
City’s major downfall in 2014 was goal-scoring, as Jill Scott and Duggan finished joint top-scorers in the league for the Manchester side, with just four each.
“We didn’t score enough goals last year but we won a lot of really good games, beating Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal twice, so that’s a real positive,” said Cushing.
“Academy Stadium is a phenomenal facility, and we’re really proud to go and play there. We need to make sure we do the fans proud so that they want to come back and watch us.
“We want to make that place a real fortress, which we did last year at our old stadium, so if we can get into the better venue with a better team, it’ll be terrific.”
Main image courtesy of Manchester City FC via YouTube, with thanks.