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Cushing expects tough test at Durham



Manchester City Women manager Nick Cushing is relishing the chance for his players to secure more match practice on Sunday but has warned of a tough test against opponents Durham.

City travel to the North East to play their third pre-season friendly, having already defeated Celtic 3-0 and drawn 0-0 away to Glasgow City.

Cushing has noted though that Durham, who will compete in the FA WSL 2 this year, are far more experienced than the Blues which could prove a major disadvantage for his side.

"Durham are a very hard-working team and they have the benefit of being together longer than us," he declared. "They've had the luxury of playing games together so as a group, they're more of a collective.

"We have only what we've done since January so our focus will always be on us and what we do as a team, rather than what other teams do.

"We always expect a difficult game but we hold our own standards and we have high expectations from our own group. We'll prepare no differently than we do to any other game and just take each one as it comes.

"We're all really looking forward to the game though. Training this week has been really positive.


"The international break [last week] gave us time to go away and reflect on everything we've been working on but it's been good to get back together, build our relationships and carry on working hard.

"We're eager to put into practice our methodology and we'll approach the game expecting a tough test.

"Overall, we are progressing really positively. We're still a new team and we don't have the benefit of last season or previous games so we're trying to concentrate - not only on our playing style - but also our team-building so we can be as strong as we can."

Cushing also revealed that alongside long-term absentees Karen Bardsley and Danielle Lea, Lynda Shepherd will miss the trip with a knee problem. The midfielder sustained the knock in training but the injury is not thought to be serious.

Kick-off is at 2pm at New Ferens Park, Durham (DH1 1GG). We'll have live updates on Twitter as well as a match report and post-match reaction after full-time.


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