Women's Team

Scott: The goals will come

LUNG BUSTING: Jill Scott putting in the hard yards.
Jill Scott says she is confident City can score an all-important away goal against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

Nick Cushing’s side travel to Spain in the Champions League Round of 16 second leg, needing a goal to maintain our chances of progression, following a 1-1 draw in Manchester a fortnight ago.

READ: Cushing | 'I know we can be better'

WATCH: City v Atletico | Match highlights

Although City have suffered an uncharacteristic goal drought in our last two domestic games, falling to a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United before being edged out 1-0 at Champions Arsenal, Scott believes it is only a matter of time before her side rekindle their scoring boots.

“We know we need to get a goal but we’re confident,” she asserted. “We’re just going through a bit of a sticky patch and things aren’t going our way.

“I’ve been in football long enough to know it’s never smooth going. We can only control what we can control and look at the bigger picture.

“We have a massive game on Wednesday in the Champions League. We have to put things behind us and try to turn things around.

“We’ll keep working at it. I really believe that once we get another goal, we’ll start firing again.

“I’m quite honest and I thought that in the home game (against Atletico), we deserved to win. We had a bit of momentum just before they scored, but we didn’t put the game to bed.

“We know we have to go there and give them another tough game. We’ll get in for recovery and give our all on Wednesday.”

WATCH: City v Atletico Madrid: Match highlights

With City having scored 20 goals in our first seven games, the recent struggles in the final third have come as a surprise – but Scott insists it’s an issue the squad have worked tirelessly on in preparation for the midweek must-win clash.

“It’s something we looked at after the game against United,” she admitted.

“It’s not like we’re not owning up to where we can be better – we know that’s where we need to be better. It’s a squad effort.

“When something isn’t happening, two days on the training pitch doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.

“Everything sounds down and out at the moment but it’s not – we’ve got everything still to play for.

Keira Walsh (who is currently serving a domestic suspension, following her red card in the Manchester Derby) has also been a massive loss. I said to her after the Arsenal game: I think she is the one player in this team who is irreplaceable.

“We all bring a lot of different strengths but even as a midfielder myself, there isn’t anyone else who can do what Keira does.

WATCH: City v Birmingham: Top goals

“It’s one of those things in football. As a group, we’ll need to pick ourselves back up and do our best, getting the ball down and playing.”

Scott also called for calm with City still very much in contention for all four trophies, despite recent results.

“We’ve dropped three points in the league but not many teams will win the league without dropping points,” she added, “and it’s all to play for in the Continental Cup.

“It hurts now, but we’ve still got a lot to fight for. We have to work out what the problem is and ride through the rough patch.

“This run makes every game more important. You can’t guarantee you’re going to win.

“In the past, when you haven’t performed at your best, you may still have picked up points – now, you can’t afford to drop your performance. It’s like an international game: if you’re not on it, you don’t win.

“It’s good for the English players for the game to be better. The league is more competitive and even when you get beat, you’d still rather be playing in those games than the ones back in the day when you’d win 7-0 or 8-0.”

One major positive of Sunday’s setback at Arsenal was the return of City and England striker Ellen White.

The forward, who signed from Birmingham over the summer, had been yet to make her debut for Cushing’s side, having suffered a lengthy injury, but Scott was delighted to see her compatriot back in action – especially ahead of another crucial run of games.

“It really does mean a lot,” she declared. “At the moment, everyone has been focused on the results but Ellen has been working so hard – I think she’s been in the gym 24/7 for the past few months!

“It’s great to see her back and it adds another dynamic to our squad, strengthening us.

“It’s a long season and we need as many players available as possible.”

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