Nick Cushing believes his side’s Champions League last-16 tie with Brondby will be a far harder test than the one they faced in the previous round against Russian side Zvezda Perm.
It’s City Women’s first season in Europe’s elite competition and expectations are high after they won the domestic double and went through the season unbeaten.
But Cushing is refusing to get carried away, citing Brondby’s quality and his own side’s lack of Champions League experience as reasons to keep their feet on the ground, but insists if he can get his players performing at their best they have a chance against anyone.
“We’ve only had two games in the Champions League,” he said. “Zvezda were tough but we’ve played better teams in our league this season.
“We've seen Brondby. We don’t know what their strategy will be - they may come to win the game or come to hold out for a draw. We will always try to win. Trying to second guess the opposition is difficult.
“They fall into the bracket of being one of the most experienced teams. We have to be realistic. We’re only two games into out Champions League history.
“When I look at ourselves, the way we’ve played and grown, I think we can be competitive in the competition.
“We have to get each individual playing their best. They know their levels have to be up there when they play the best.”
Attendances for City Women matches have grown steadily since the team was launched three years ago – and this season they became the first club to average over 2,000 per game.
Cushing says it’s pleasing to see such a high level of interest, which he believes stems from his team's style of play.
“We’ve had a consistent following this season - a group of fans who have come home and away and supported us,” he said. “We rely on that support and I know they’ll be here.
“If we can play the style of football I know we can play, and we get big games, like the Continental Cup final, people will keep coming. It’s up to us to put a style of football on the pitch that people want to see.
“Our target is to keep growing it. We want to play in front of a full stadium.”