Nick Cushing believes that Manchester City’s recent Continental Cup semi-final win over Chelsea is down to the mentality and character of his squad.
City sealed a place in the final against Arsenal after a close-fought 1-0 victory over the London side, with Nadia Nadim scoring her second goal in her second appearance for the Blues.
The manager was bursting with pride after the match and commended his side for making the clash feel like a home league game.
“I’m really, really proud of the players because it’s a difficult place to come [Kingsmeadow] and we played a very good Chelsea team,” the manager explained. “I’m most proud that we turned an away semi-final into a home league game in the way that we controlled the game, the character and mentality of the players and the way that we played.
“We had to ride our luck at times during the game but that’s top-level football, I’m really pleased with the way the players applied themselves against Chelsea.
“We knew we would have to be the best defensively because we are up against great players.
“Defensively we were really solid, my only disappointment is I thought we could have probably scored more goals with the opportunities we had in and around their box.”
Nadim sealed the victory with her first-half goal, exactly a week after making her debut and also scoring her first City goal against Reading away at Adams Park.
“Nadia’s not just a special player, but she’s a special person as well,” Cushing added.
“Everyone knows her story and knows her hunger to be successful – and especially her desire to be successful with Manchester City.
“She has fitted into the squad really well and has great enthusiasm and energy, and in those big moments the big players produce for you.
“I’m so pleased she scored again for us.”
As Nick Cushing’s side prepare to retain their Continental Tyres trophy against the Gunners, there are still five more matches to play before the final – including another meeting away with Chelsea and the fourth round of the FA Cup against Brighton and Hove Albion.
“When the final comes around we will plan and prepare for it, but we’ve got some things in the way and also things may change along the way – we might have injuries or performance dips,” the boss stated.
“We will sort the Cup final out when it comes but we’ve got more important games coming up before that.”