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Stokes: We have the right to be confident

LOOKING AHEAD: Demi Stokes is targeting a strong finish to 2016

LOOKING AHEAD: Demi Stokes is targeting a strong finish to 2016

Demi Stokes says Man City Women should fear no-one in the Champions League.

The Blues have been drawn to three-time semi-finalists Brondby IF in the last 16 stage, having thrashed Russians Zvezda Perm 6-0 on aggregate in their first ever European tie.

Relishing the chance to test herself against some of the best players in the world, Stokes insists Nick Cushing’s side have the quality to compete in the continent’s premier tournament.

She told ManCity.com: “We all know that on our day, we can beat anyone so it’s a case of focusing on our own game, rather than the opposition.

“If I’m honest, I don’t know too much about Brondby but it’s a good draw from what I’ve been told.

“Lucy [Bronze] has played them a few times for Everton and she said we stand a good chance of progressing if we play as we have been doing.

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“A lot of the team have played in the Champions League before – there’s a good core, which is an advantage.

“They can help those who haven’t played in the competition before. That breeds confidence and the fact we already have experience and quality in the squad, we have every right to be confident going into this game.”

City will play at home first, as they did in the Round of 32 stage. A 2-0 victory over Zvezda handed the Blues a psychological boost ahead of the trip to Russia – and Stokes is eyeing a similar scenario.

“Playing at home first can be an advantage,” she added. “Of course, it’s our ground, we’re familiar with the surroundings and it’s a chance for the fans to really get behind us.

“It can be good both ways to be fair but I think always helps if you can gain control of the tie in the first leg – it puts you in the ascendency for the away leg.”

When asked of City’s targets in the competition, she replied: “We would want to go all the way and win it – that’s what we play for and as a footballer, you want nothing less.

“It’s in our heads but it’s a long time away. You have to play what’s in front of you, prepare for the now and control what you can, taking each game as it comes and performing well.”

As are most of the City team, Stokes is currently away on international duty and is enjoying an exciting few weeks.

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“It’s been busy – fun but busy,” she smiled. “The hard work continues – you can’t take your foot off the gas.

“We have two hard games with England, which we’re preparing for, and then when we get back to City, we’ll be focusing on the last league game.

“We would like to win that game against Birmingham. Of course, we’ve already won the double but we want to finish the season unbeaten and on a high so we just have to keep believing and working hard.”

 

Tickets for the Super League season finale are now on sale. Join the party and celebrate with the double-winning champions. Visit tickets.mancity.com to secure your seat.

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