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Semi-final boost for Blues

Jennifer Beattie is fighting fit and ready to help City reach a Wembley final.

The midfielder, who is yet to feature this season, has returned to full fitness and is in contention for the Blues' trip to Staines on Sunday.

Nick Cushing's side face Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals for the second successive year and the Scotland international is looking to avenge 2015's defeat to the eventual competition winners.

"It's a big game and we're really looking forward to it," she told mcfc.co.uk. "It doesn't get much tougher than Chelsea away but those are the games you want to be playing in.

"We didn't have any preference ahead of the draw. We would have taken anyone - that's the attitude we have. Nothing changes our plans or our preparations.

"To get to finals, you have to beat good teams and Chelsea are one of them.

"I'd be just as excited for any game but as it's the FA Cup, there's extra motivation - especially as they beat us at this stage last season.

"It's a natural thing to look back on the game last year - it was the same round against the same team - and the last thing we want to see is history repeating itself.

"We played well in that game and we were unfortunate. We were massively disappointed not to have reached the final at Wembley - that's definitely something we want to do.

"A few of the girls have played there already on international duty and they've always enjoyed the occasion. It's a brilliant place to play football and those that haven't played there are dying to do so.

"Hopefully, we can a put in a similar performance to the one we put in at Wycombe but achieve a different outcome."

Though Beattie has been understandably disappointed to have missed out on the opening weeks of the campaign, she asserts her injury problems are behind her and is eager to return to action.

"It's been so good to be back training with the girls," she declared.

"It was a frustrating start for me but I'm happy to be back.  The confidence is high amongst the squad right now - we've had a great start to the season. It's been spot on and the girls have been excellent.

"No-one wants to watch from the sidelines but it's been great to see the team succeed. I've been so proud, especially as they've been performing well to go with the results.

"We didn't start last season well so it's been pleasing we've done so. We have such a positive mindset and I can't wait to be back out on the pitch with the team."

Kick-off in Staines is at 2pm. We'll have live coverage of the game on Twitter, a match report shortly after full-time and highlights at noon on Tuesday.


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