City Women’s boss Nick Cushing believes there will be no excuses if his side do not beat Arsenal and reach the Continental Cup final.
Izzy Christiansen’s header in the final of this competition against this weekend's opposition gave the Blues their first taste of silverware back in 2014.
This year they lie on the verge of the Super League title and have a Champions League tie against Zvezda Perm to look forward to, but Cushing insists his side’s focus is on this Sunday’s semi-final at the Academy Stadium
“It’s big for me because it was the first trophy we won in our first year,” said Cushing.
“I’ve not hidden the fact I feel we didn’t get a fair crack to retain it last season but there’s no hindrance this time – we’ve got the time to prepare so there are no excuses in this game against Arsenal.”
City and Arsenal will be competing for the right to face the winner of the London Bees v Birmingham City tie at the showpiece final.
This year’s final will be played at City’s home ground and Cushing expects his team to use that as extra motivation against a strong Arsenal side.
He said: “It’s our turf and if someone’s going to lift a trophy here, we want it to be us.
“It’s nice that Arsenal respect us but we have to deliver. If we play as we have been doing and keep a clean sheet, we’ve got a good chance of winning the game.
“It’s going to be two good teams on the day and whoever’s the best will go on to the final.”
As for the race for the Women’s Super League title, Cushing has warned against starting the celebrations too soon.
“I believe it will go all the way down to the wire because Chelsea and Arsenal will both win all of their games,” he said.
“To win the league you have to be hard to beat, structured, you have to have a bit of psychology with good endurance and fitness levels and you need to be solid offensively and defensively.
“We’ve played that way all season and that’s why we sit where we are in the league and potentially, we could win it.”