Nick Cushing believes City’s return to winning ways in last Sunday’s Continental Cup over Birmingham was just reward for the squad’s togetherness and strength of spirit.

After a tough run of three straight defeats across the Continental Cup, Super League and Champions League, City bounced back to winning ways in our latest group game against the Midlanders with goals from Ellen White and Caroline Weir securing a deserved 2-1 win.

It was a perfect tonic for the squad as they went into the November international break.

And looking to the long term, as City seek success on three domestic fronts, the manager believes his players will have emerged all the stronger despite the recent disappointments.  

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“I have never questioned the spirit. I asked them to show their resilience on Sunday and I had no doubt we would win,” Cushing declared.

“If you look at the way played in the first half against Birmingham, in any other game we would have gone in 3-0 up, but for the players it was a big win and I was really pleased for them.

“Sometimes in football you get delivered difficult periods and we’ve got to remember that that we went all the way through last season without losing a match until the last game.

“I hate losing but the thing about is that you can’t hide away from it. You have to show who you are and find solutions.

“We’ve not lost a lot of games so maybe it was just our time to have a little difficult period and now we can push on.

“I think the players learnt exactly what I’ve said since the start of the season… that the women’s game is improving so much that the margin for success is getting smaller and every single team will see that.

WATCH: Continental Cup highlights: City 2-1 Birmingham

“It’s all getting better and better so, for everyone involved, it’s more competitive.”

With many of the City players now away on international duty, it has afforded Cushing and his coaching squad time to reflect and draw breath ahead of the resumption of FA Women’s Super League action against West Ham at the Academy Stadium on November 17th.

“It has been intense in this period,” the manager admitted.

“We felt hurt by losing to United in the Continental Cup, we should have got something in the league game at Arsenal and we played well at Atletico.

“So it’s probably a nice time for the players to go away, to clear their heads, work in a fresh environment with their countries and then come back and do what we have always done.

“Collectively we will then move on to West Ham and make sure that we win that game.”

City are back in FA Women's Super League action against West Ham on November 17th. Kick-off at the Academy Stadium is 12.30pm and tickets are available HERE