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Houghton: We always fight to the end

Steph Houghton celebrates with fans

Steph Houghton celebrates with fans

Steph Houghton heralded her side's patience and professionalism in Wednesday's dramatic victory over Notts County.

Manchester City Women left it late to kick off the new FA Women's Super League campaign with three points, courtesy of a 93rd minute free-kick from the skipper - her fourth goal in five games.

Speaking to mcfc.co.uk after the clash, she spoke of her pride and delight.

"I'm absolutely buzzing for all of the girls," she declared. "We could easily have got frustrated but playing with the philosophy we have, it was important we stuck to what we know and how we play every single week.

"We're so glad to get the three points. We always fight to the end. The girls are fantastic in terms of being patient.

"We knew Notts were going to come, bank up and make things frustrating for us but we've got quality in the side and with the tempo we play, we create so many chances

"I'd had a similar free-kick earlier in the game, which I was disappointed with, and I remember Toni shouting to me to get it on target!

"I knew I had to get it over the wall and I was thrilled to see it go in the back of the net."

She continued: "It was important that we started off with a win. We started last season slowly and we know that if we want to compete in this league, sometimes we might have to win a bit ugly or by leaving it late.

"Credit to Notts, they put everyone behind the ball, fought to the end and put bodies on the line but we showed our class and showed how we can perform. Hopefully, that's a sign of champions!"

The result maintains the Blues' 100% record in 2016, following three friendly triumphs, an FA Cup win and Wednesday's victory, and ensures Nick Cushing's side head into Monday's mouth-watering clash with Arsenal in fine spirits.

The MCWFC team celebrate Steph Houghton's goal

Previewing the Gunners' visit, Houghton stated: "Arsenal are a bit similar to us because they get the ball down and like to play good football.

"They’ve got some new signings too and we know that it’s going to be a very tough test. We’ll have to be on our game and we have to defend very well, but we're also aware we pose them a threat going forward.

"I don't think we need to focus too much on Arsenal - we just need to make sure we perform and continue with our standards throughout the game."

The encounter has been chosen for live broadcast on BT Sport - a fact which pleases the City and England skipper.

"The more TV coverage we get, the better," she added. "It will improve the profile of the women’s game.

"To have the game on Easter Monday too, when a lot of people will be off work and able to watch, it will be good for the players and the Club, as well as the game overall.

"We have a terrific fanbase. Over the last few seasons, we’ve seen our crowd attendances increase and the fans' support has been a massive part of our success.

"We always owe the fans a good performance and three points.

"This season, if we get the fans in at the Academy Stadium and behind us, we will be even more encouraged to produce top performances. We'll be one step closer to becoming one of the best - if not the best - Clubs in England."

Match Report

Houghton strike steals last-gasp win

Manchester City Women left it late to snatch all three points against Notts County and kick-off the new Super League campaign with a bang.

Manchester City Women left it late to snatch all three points against Notts County and kick-off the new Super League campaign with a bang.

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