Nick Cushing has called on his players to continue their clinical streak if they are to remain at the top of the Women’s Super League.
After scoring 13 goals in their last two outings, the City Women’s boss believes his side are at their best when they force the opposition to play in their own half and make mistakes.
Speaking ahead of Sunderland’s visit to the Academy Stadium on Sunday, the manager expects his side to maintain that killer instinct as the end of the season draws closer.
He said: “We highlighted previously we wanted to score more goals and we’ve tailored the work to ensure the team are physically strong and tactically astute. I think that showed, especially in the Notts County game.
“When we put teams under pressure and get in their faces high up the pitch, we make them work and then we have the chance to regain the ball, create chances and hopefully, score.”
In terms of this weekend’s match, Cushing knows that Sunderland Ladies will present their own challenges but he’s just happy to be playing in front of the home fans again.
“We love playing at home and it’s been a long time since we did. When we perform well and we’re creating chances and scoring goals, the atmosphere is amazing and that goes hand-in-hand with winning games,” he said.
“Sunderland are a tough team and they’re typically organised. They’ll come to stop us and compact the spaces with a lot of players behind the ball, making life difficult for us.”
“We need to make sure we play our way, moving the ball around and sticking to our gameplan. That will give us a chance to win and if we’re as clinical as we were in the Aston Villa and Notts County games, we’ll pick up another three points.”
However, the manager is unsure when defender Abbie McManus will return to action after her injury during the emphatic 5-1 victory over Notts County last weekend.
He said: “She’s been assessed by the medical team. That assessment hasn’t shown up anything as yet. It’s still early days – there’s still swelling and she’s in a little bit of discomfort – but we’ll be patient with her and we’ll let the medical team do their job.
Cushing has refused to get carried away with title ambitions for now, preferring instead to focus on the performance level of his side.
He said: “When games are on television you watch them because you have an interest in the league and the opposition – but those results don’t particularly affect us.
“We go into every game looking to win – we always have done and we always will do. Performances are important to us – we want to play our style, we want to play well and we want to get three points.”