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Houghton looks ahead to Cyprus Cup

Manchester City Women and England captain Steph Houghton believes England have what it takes to reach their fourth Cyprus Cup final.

The Three Lionesses, including City stars Houghton, Karen Bardsley, Jill Scott, Demi Stokes – and now Toni Duggan – have won the competition twice before but came runners-up last year to France.

Houghton, involved in all three of those clashes, is a big fan of the tournament and hopes her side can use the disappointment of the 2014 final as motivation for success this time around.

"The Cyprus Cup has always been a really good, enjoyable tournament and in pre-season, you always need games under your belt,” she told mcfc.co.uk.

"It's a great opportunity for us to spend some time together and test ourselves against some of the best teams in the world.

"It's important we play against different teams and against different styles of play so we can alter our game as well.

There'll be lots of rotation throughout the tournament but we'll be looking to go as far as we can.

"We want to go and win every game we play and this is no different. We want to perform at our best and let's hope we do get to the final again because it's a great experience for everyone involved.”

England face Finland on Wednesday, Australia on Friday and Holland on Monday.

In a welcome boost for club and country, striker Duggan, who had been ruled out through injury, has joined up with the Three Lionesses for the trip.

In the same competition, new recruit Jennifer Beattie will be representing Scotland, while Natasha Flint, Georgia Brougham, Keira Walsh and Nikita Parris are in La Manga with England's youth teams.

Striker Sarah Wiltshire has also made the journey to Croatia to take part in a series of friendlies for Wales.

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