Steph Houghton believes October’s fixtures could prove pivotal in City’s quest for four trophies.

Nick Cushing’s side tackle three competitions this month with crucial FA Women’s Super League clashes against Arsenal and Birmingham, a Continental Cup trip to Manchester United and a two-legged Champions League Round of 16 encounter against Atletico Madrid.

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The domestic cup holders have started the season in fine form with a 100% record from our first six games, scoring an astonishing 20 goals and conceding just one.

The season has now halted for international duty but Houghton asserts her side will return ready to build momentum, as City look to kick on and reach their full potential.

“We want to win every game,” she said. “That doesn’t change.

“We have a big month coming up in October, with games every three to four days so we need to keep everybody fresh and mentally tuned in.”

City return to league action with the visit of Birmingham to the Academy Stadium on Saturday 12 October at 2pm, during the men’s international break.

Previous fixtures against the Solihull outfit have proven testing with Cup Finals, narrow victories and topsy-turvy encounters – and Houghton expects similar when the two sides meet again.

“Every time we play Birmingham it’s always quite tough,” she reflected. “It’s always quite even.

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“They’ve made a lot of changes to their squad and so have we.”

City’s 20 goals this term have been netted by seven different goalscorers – including the skipper herself – while our defence has been watertight with a solitary goal conceded.

Houghton has been impressed with her side’s individual and collective displays across the pitch, asserting there is still more to come as the new signings continue to bed in and relationships strengthen.

“The main thing is that we’re creating chances,” she added. “Pauline Bremer, Janine Beckie, Tessa Wullaert and Caroline Weir have been hitting the back of the net and it’s important we keep providing them with chances so they continue to do that.

“They may have been a bit disappointed that we couldn’t put more away against Everton, but you couldn’t fault their work rate.

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“It’s hard up there. They have to start the press and put people under pressure. There’s always stuff we can work on in both attack and defence but we’re going in the right direction.

“As a back four and a 'keeper, we want to be helping the team as much as we can. The way we do that is by keeping clean sheets.

“It’s a new partnership for me with Gemma Bonner and we’re working on it all the time. We’re trying to bring the best out of each other along with Aoife Mannion, Demi Stokes, Megan and Matilde Fidalgo.

“We have to do the basics right, win our tackles and our headers and keep the ball out of the net.

“We’ll go and enjoy international duty now and hopefully coming back fit, healthy and raring to go.”