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Houghton plotting Continental Cup success

FOCUSED: Houghton is on the trophy hunt this season.

FOCUSED: Houghton is on the trophy hunt this season.

City Women’s captain Steph Houghton has promised fans they can expect full commitment from the side in Sunday’s Continental Tyres Cup quarter-final against Doncaster Rovers Belles.

Nick Cushing’s side are in a particularly busy period of the season, having already played twice in the last seven days but Houghton doesn’t expect that to affect the team’s effort level.

She said: “The focus has changed in the fact it’s a different trophy but we won’t change our performance – we will have the same will to win and put in a good performance, especially at home.

“The team are in great spirits. We have a lot of strength in depth and a lot of personalities. It’s a pleasure to work with them every day – nobody settles for second best and we all try to spur each other on.

“We have to use the squad, utilising players and making the most of their strengths. I feel we’re doing that at the moment.”

With the Continental Tyres Cup final scheduled for the start of October at City’s Academy Stadium, Houghton feels this gives the team extra motivation to go all the way in the tournament.

“It’s a big incentive for us. We were so close to reaching the final last year. It’s a special trophy to us because it’s the only one we’ve won so far. We want to perform in every competition and we’re looking forward to playing Doncaster,” said Houghton.

The 2-1 victory over Reading on Tuesday night took City seven points clear of nearest challengers and defending champions Chelsea at the top of Women’s Super League.

Despite struggling to play at their free-flowing best at Adams Park, Houghton believes the result shows the winning mentality of the squad.

“The way we kept the ball and possession could have been a little better and tidier but they are the games you just have to get over the line and get three points,” she said.

“It’s a long season and we have high standards for ourselves. We want to be scoring as many goals as possible but games where results are ground out are where league titles are won come the end of the season.

“To have a group of fans that are willing to travel all the way to Wycombe in midweek is great. Hopefully, when it comes to the end of the season, it will be all worth it!”

City v Doncaster Rovers Belles will be streamed live on the team’s official Facebook page – Manchester City Women – or alternatively, you can follow live updates and post-match reaction right here on mancity.com.

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