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Cushing: UWCL semis is an unbelievable achievement

LOOKING AHEAD: Nick Cushing's Man City Women face Lyon in the Champions League semi-finals

LOOKING AHEAD: Nick Cushing's Man City Women face Lyon in the Champions League semi-finals

Man City Women manager Nick Cushing is relishing the prospect of testing his players against the best team in Europe.

The Blues reached the Champions League semi-finals in their maiden campaign with a 2-0 aggregate victory over Fortuna Hjorring.

Cushing’s side face Lyon in the last four and despite his team’s inexperience, the manager is excited by the challenge.

“This team is ready for it,” he stated. “We need it.

“We were unbeaten last season – we won the league and the Continental Tyres Cup. Now, we need to see where the team is at mentally and where their game is at.

“Lyon are the best and they have the trophy at the moment.”

Reflecting on the 1-0 triumph over Fortuna at the Academy Stadium, Cushing admitted: “We’ve played better and controlled games better.

“We kept a clean sheet and scored another goal, and completed our aim of getting to the semi-final.

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“Although we weren’t as good as we could be, I felt we were in control. They caught us out a few times but I’m content with the performance.

“Every performance we put on the pitch is a new experience. Every player played their part.”

Cushing added his side will benefit from their previous – though few – European experiences.

City defeated Zvezda Perm and Brondby before facing Fortuna and are unbeaten in the Champions League.

“Reaching the semi-finals is an unbelievable achievement for us,” Cushing continued. “There is no pressure on us in the semis.

“We’ll get on the training pitch, do what we do, ensure we’re solid defensively and enjoy both games. We think we’re a good enough team to compete.

“We as a group need to draw on all of the experiences we have. We haven’t got many in the Champions League but we have players who have played in big games – Olympics, World Cups, finals...

“Lyon can play two teams of world-class internationals but we believe in the way we play and we believe in our quality. We’ve been unbeaten now for 21 months so we can draw on those good performances and try and play like that against Lyon.

“We should enjoy pitting ourselves up against Europe’s best team.”

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