Georgia Stanway says Etihad Stadium games will need to be earned, going forward.
City and United meet at the Etihad this Saturday, but the England forward says there will have to be big crowds at the Academy Stadium on a regular basis to merit more games at the Etihad.
“The fact we’ve sold 20,000 for this game shows the interest is there, but we have to consistently sell out the Academy Stadium each week to be able to play there more often,” said Stanway.
“If we do that, then playing more games at the Etihad will be a possibility, but we have to make sure will fill the Academy Stadium week in, week out before we can.
“At the World Cup, the stadiums were full, but we haven’t seen a WSL stadium in this country full – yet.
“We’ve sold 20,000 tickets for Saturday’s game which is the biggest ever in this country and we are playing at the Etihad Stadium, so it can definitely be done.”
Asked how she felt about segregation at the Manchester derby, she added: “It doesn’t matter what colours people wear, it’s all about the occasion and enjoying the game – and hopefully we can bring those fans back for future games.
“The more people we get, the better. Segregating the fans isn’t a big deal for us – if they do it, they do it – if they don’t, they don’t – the target audience that come and watch the games are families and children and I think segregating the fans won’t make a difference.
“It’s all about the numbers that we get to come and watch and if we can build those numbers up as quickly as we can, it will be better for the women’s game.”
Stanway also paid tribute to the resolve and resilience of the City squad…
She rang the bell...
“We are a team that is painting a picture with a spirit that is unbreakable and that’s something that anyone who joins the club quickly understands,” she said.
“We’ve had a great pre-season, played great football and we can’t wait to get going.”