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Cushing: Two-goal lead important mentally

PROUD MANAGER: Nick Cushing was delighted with his side's ambition in the victory over Zvezda Perm

PROUD MANAGER: Nick Cushing was delighted with his side's ambition in the victory over Zvezda Perm

Nick Cushing believes Man City Women’s second goal against Zvezda Perm has handed his side a psychological boost for the away leg.

The Blues led 1-0 against the Russian outfit, thanks to Jill Scott's strike, until Lucy Bronze volleyed home in injury time.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, the manager declared he felt the visitors had been content to take a one-goal defeat back home, adding his was pleased his side sought to extend their lead.

“It will be important mentally for us,” he said. “The players are more content and settled. We dominated the game. We can be better in the final third but we were in control at 1-0.

“It’s a great experience for the team. With the gameplan of the opposition and us, it was like a game of chess. I got the feeling they were happy with 1-0. We wanted to win and keep a clean sheet. We’ve done that.

“We weren’t at our best but we were good. I knew they’d be resolute, try to limit us and take the tie away in Russia.

“A little bit of fatigue crept in maybe. Starting this Champions League campaign now isn’t ideal but it is what it is.

“We spoke at half-time about being tidier in possession. At this level, you can’t get away with errors. There’s room to improve.

“If we’re better than we were tonight, we give ourselves the chance to win in Russia.

"I feel confident we can go away and do the work on the training pitch to limit Zvezda opportunities. We play to dominate the ball. We’ll go into the tie exactly the same.”

Scott, who broke the deadlock with her second goal in three games, echoed her manager’s sentiments, stating: “Credit to the girls for keeping going. Scoring in 90 minutes shows the ambition of the team and it’s a good score to take to Russia. 

"We didn’t get going in the first half. They came here to do a job.

"I’m very happy to have scored. At the beginning of the season, I highlighted I wanted to score more goals. It’s something I wanted to work on.

“It was more important that we got the win. We kept a clean sheet avoided an away goal. We’d have definitely taken a 2-0 win before kick-off.

“We’re looking forward to the away leg. It’s been a busy period and we should be proud of what we’ve achieved. The travel will be something we have to overcome but we have lots of players who are experienced with travelling and it should be fun.

“We’ve just got to prepare for the correct way. It has the feel of an international game.”

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