Cushing: We have to push ourselves
- 25 June 2016 10:44
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
Nick Cushing says his Manchester City Women side are in excellent shape, following the mid-season break.
The league leaders host Liverpool on Sunday in their first game in over a month and the Blues boss insists time off for the players has been beneficial.
He also revealed the entire squad is back to full fitness, including youngster Keira Walsh, who has been sidelined since March.
He told mcfc.co.uk: "Training has been really good this week. We regrouped after a break in which the players had plenty of rest, following heavy domestic and international schedules.
"It’s good for the players to switch off sometimes. We have such high expectations here for everybody on and off the pitch.
"The players train very hard with high standards and while that’s shown in the performances, it’s also brought fatigue.
"It’s key to allow players to recover and refresh. They need to get their heads away from football and spend time with friends and family so when they come back, we can raise the expectation again.
"To carry on winning, we know we have to push ourselves.
"This week has seen us train as a full squad for the first time this season. We have everybody back fit and in full training.
"The squad is healthy, everyone’s looking forward to playing and we just want to get the games going again now."
Ahead of the first home game in almost two months, Cushing also spoke of the team's excitement to take to the Academy Stadium pitch.
"We love playing at home," he added. "Given the choice – not that it would happen – we’d play there every week!
"The surface is exceptional, the stadium is amazing and the facilities are in my opinion, the best in Europe.
"Of course, the fans are brilliant too. They make so much noise to create an unbelievable atmosphere and that gives us more chance of winning than we have at other grounds.
"We’re always excited to play in front of them and, we can’t wait to get on the grass. We always want to put in a performance for the fans, which makes them want to come back and watch us."
Sunday's game will see the two sides meet for the second time in a row. In the final clash of the first half of the season, City left Liverpool with a goalless draw.
With the Reds having succeeded in their attempt to frustrate, Cushing expects them to employ a similar gameplan but hopes his side can break down a stubborn defence this time.
"I’ve spoken a lot this week about being realistic," he declared. "It’s only going to get harder to win games because of the way we play.
"Teams are naturally intimidated and they put a lot of players behind the ball to try and stop us.
"In the away game, we experienced that and to be honest, only the games against Chelsea and Arsenal have seen the opposition try to play against us and be expansive. Those have been the best games to watch in my opinion.
"We have to find solutions, keep using our game model and style and carry on playing in the way we believe the game should be played.
"It’s worked for us so far this season. We’ve won six games and drawn one from seven so we’re unbeaten and like I keep saying: let’s just keep winning and see where it gets us."
MCWFC v Liverpool
Table-topping City welcome Liverpool to the Academy Stadium on Sunday 26 June at 2pm.
Tickets for the clash are now on sale. Secure your seat here and cheer the Blues on to victory.