Nick Cushing praised his players' return to club football after a testing international break.

City returned to the top of the table after a dominant first half display helped them beat Brighton 3-0.

After an international break involving a large number of the squad, Cushing was particularly happy with the Blues' quick start.

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"Normally we start a bit sloppy or scruffy because we’ve all been away and have so many internationals, but we worked a lot over the last two days because that's all the prep we had," Cushing told

"We tried to get our style and momentum going and I think we did. It was a great start from us, not only getting a penalty but the play that led to the penalty was really good."

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The Blues have made a good habit in recent games of taking the lead early, but the manager was most impressed by how his team played once they went 1-0 up against a defensive Brighton side. 

"I think the early goal is key, we scored an early goal against West Ham and that led to a really big win, and an early goal here against a team that's 'blocky' really spoils their game plan, as long as you don’t let them back in", the manager explained.  

"We look back at being 1-0 up against Bristol, we ended up drawing that game 1-1 because of giving away a sloppy penalty, so we're pleased to get an early goal today but to then push on and really take the game to Brighton is the most pleasing part."

City now have two cup games before returning to league action, an FA Cup tie at home for Watford, then a journey to Chelsea for a league cup semi final.

"The FA Cup is an important trophy for us, we won it in 2017 so want to make sure we’re in the hat." Cushing stated. "Then a semi final away at Chelsea, we’ve been there before and we know it's going to be a difficult game, so we’re excited for that one."