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Christiansen back firing on all cylinders

RETURNING HEROINE: Izzy Christiansen hopes to have put her injury problems behind her

RETURNING HEROINE: Izzy Christiansen hopes to have put her injury problems behind her

Izzy Christiansen's return to action has provided a huge boost for Man City Women.

The PFA Players' Player of the Year, has missed much of the campaign through injury, but marked her first game back to full fitness with a stunning goal in the 5-1 rout at Notts County.

After declaring before the trip to Meadow Lane she was hoping to have put injury worries behind her, and followed up her wondergoal with the opener on her 50th City appearance in Wednesday's victory at Reading.

Converting a header from a cross out wide, the goal held much resemblance to the one she scored in the Continental Tyres Cup final triumph in the Blues' first season in the top flight - a good omen? She hopes so...

"I didn't really think about that until half-time!" she laughed. "Keets (Nikita Parris) did fantastically well down the right-hand side, I've timed my run and she's put a perfect ball in. All I had to do was head it into pretty much an empty net.

"The most important thing was that we got the win. Adams Park is a very tough place to go to with a great atmosphere and we're very pleased to have come away with the three points, especially as we came under a bit of pressure towards the end.

"The culture we have, we're slightly disappointed with our performance but it's the sign of a good team when you don't play as well as you can but still win.

"There are lessons to be learned but at this stage of the season, the most important thing is to get three points and grind it out. There is a lot for us to work on but we're delighted at the same time."

There is little time to dwell on the midweek victory, as the Blues are back in action on Sunday, welcoming Doncaster to the Academy Stadium in the quarter-finals of the Continental Tyres Cup.

Despite the lack of recovery time in between games, Christiansen asserts City cannot wait to take to the pitch again.

"Of course, it's a competition we're wanting to advance in," she added. "It's important the players rest and recover right, so we're in the best possible shape to go and win.

"The Conti Cup is huge for us. It's another trophy for us to win. You look back on your career and it's all about how many trophies you've won.

"It's something we want to get our hands on again but it's important we take each game as it comes and not get too carried away with either competition."

When asked of her chances of a third goal in four games, she smiled: "I'd be delighted with a goal but I'm more bothered about being in the semi-final. It doesn't matter who scores it!

"As a team, we're feeling good. We've got a big squad with loads of fresh legs and most of us are fit. Obviously, we lost Abbie [McManus] to a horrible injury last week and Megan [Campbell] suffered an ankle knock on Wednesday but everyone else is in good shape for Sunday's game.

"We've taken three points away from Reading; now we'll prepare for Sunday and we'll look forward to hopefully, booking a semi-final spot."

Match Report

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