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Bonner sets out Champions League challenge

CHAMPIONS FOCUS: Gemma Bonner

CHAMPIONS FOCUS: Gemma Bonner

Defender Gemma Bonner reckons a complete performance is required from the Blues in order to defeat Atletico Madrid in Wednesday's Champions League second leg.

Nick Cushing's side were not at their best in Spain a fortnight ago, but a steely defensive performance and Bonner's maiden Club goal secured a precious 1-1 draw.

Now the 27-year-old has challenged her team-mates to show just how good they are going forward when Atleti visit the Academy Stadium.

She told a pre-match press conference: "It was a huge positive that we didn't get beaten, going away from home and the huge pressure that they put us under, especially in the second half - I think we've got to take that resilience (forward).

"Ultimately we came away disappointed with the performance and we know we've got so much more to offer.

"If we can defend how we did, but bring to the forefront how we can play with the ball and attack how we can, we are confident we can cause them problems."

READ: Cushing hails Houghton's professionalism

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Bonner joined from Liverpool in the summer and is already looking like an excellent addition to the squad.

Although a central defender by trade, she is able to play on the right and along with Jen Beattie and skipper Steph Houghton, Bonner is contributing to a powerful Blues backline.

"I've been really enjoying it so far," she added. "I was delighted to score my first goal as well last week but for me coming into the Club, I feel like I've settled in well, obviously I knew a lot of the girls already and I'm excited ready for the game, as a Club we want to be playing in the big games and want to be winning and it gives us an opportunity to do that.

"I feel like I've improved, obviously when you're playing with the best players day in day out, you're going to, and as a player you're going to be pushed in the environment we've got here at City.

"That's what I came here to do, along with the coaching staff and the people and players we're all trying to be the best people and players that we can be, and hopefully that's showing.

"It (the Champions League) was a big reason why I came here, the opportunity to play Champions League football again, you're testing yourselves against the best players in the world. We were disappointed with the performance that we put in away from home but we've got another opportunity with the home crowd behind us to put in a performance and show what a good team we are.

"The whole experience of the European nights again you're playing against the best teams, you've got to enjoy the occasion, as players you want to be playing in the big games, I think we have to look forward to the occasion but also concentrate on how good a team we can be.

"I think the players we've got we're good enough to win these big games."

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Match report...