Manchester City Manager Nick Cushing was pleased with his side’s performance as the WSL Champions eased past Yeovil Town 5-1 at the Academy Stadium on Sunday.
City went ahead through an own goal and raced into a 5-1 lead before Ellie Roebuck saved a penalty and Carli Lloyd was sent off in the latter stagers; “It had everything, a penalty given, a penalty miss, an own goal, a sending off.” “I felt in spells we moved the ball really well.”
“With having the FA Cup final and giving the players some days off it’s given us a chance to rotate the team.” “In the training sessions that we’ve had, all the players have pushed for starting positions so it was disappointing to leave them out of the FA Cup final but we put them in today and another good performance.”
Cushing put down the competition for places down to the character of his players; “We’ve tried to build this [squad] on good people, and yeah, disappointment is evident [when the players don’t start] but the attitudes and the hard work has been there throughout. I knew they would hit the ground running today and Toni Duggan was exceptional.” There was also praise for Swedish International Kosovare Asllani who scored just her third goal since joining from PSG last year as Cushing also labelled her ‘exceptional’.
Following a barren run in front of goal City had netting 12 times in the last three matches and when asked what the difference was Cushing responded; “Nothing, we’re just improving. I’ve always said we want to become a better team in the final third.” “The more we train, the harder we work and the better we’ll get.”
It’s a big week for Manchester City with the visits of Chelsea and then Arsenal to the Academy Stadium and asked if those games would go a long way to deciding the title next season Cushing remained focused on the Spring Series; “The winner of the Spring Series will go on the head to head of us, Chelsea and Arsenal.”
The City manager also refused to rule out further squad rotation; “We’ve got five games in two and a half weeks and we’ve just had eight games in the last three and a half weeks. I don’t like to keep bringing it up as an excuse. However if you want to win things you’ve got to play a lot of games.”
“I will pick the team that will give us the best opportunity of beating Chelsea. We know they play three at the back and we know the system that they play and it’s very similar to Birmingham. The way that we set up will help us to contain them. People know they are a pressing team and they know we want to keep the ball.”
Cushing also took time to thank the clubs supporters for their backing; “I want to remain the dominant team in England and I want to carry on winning. Especially in [the Academy Stadium] in front of our fans, they’ve been exceptional supporting us. They come everywhere with us whether it be Wembley, Lyon or Russia” “Winning games is how we repay them for supporting us.”
Looking ahead Cushing confirmed that the club was always looking to strengthen the squad; “Recruitment is a constant process in football. Recruitment, especially at this football club is something that we do throughout, whether it be identifying players and tracking them or taking the opportunity to bring them to the football club. Do I know exactly who were going to sign in? No, do I know who are our targets are? Of course.”
Manchester City welcome Chelsea to the Academy Stadium on Thursday night, 7pm KO.