Gemma Bonner believes her smooth transition from right-back to centre-half is testament to the familiarity of her defensive partner Steph Houghton.

The 28-year-old has regained her preferred central role this term, following Jen Beattie’s summer departure, having occupied the right-back slot in her 2018/19 debut campaign.

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Bonner started her career at hometown club Leeds United, playing alongside City and England skipper Houghton, and explained their alliance and understanding in sky blue is a result of their past experience.

“I’ve known Steph a long time,” she revealed. “We played together previously and we’re both determined to keep getting better, pushing each other every game. Every day in training, we’re developing a stronger partnership.

“Naturally, I’m a centre-half so it’s good for me to be playing there, although I don’t mind playing anywhere as long as I’m on the field!

“We’ve had a good start to the season with a couple of clean sheets so we’re looking to keep pushing now.”

Bonner also expressed her delight to have become a regular name in Nick Cushing’s starting XI, since joining the Club in June 2018.

The defender asserts she has already seen an improvement in her personal game and is loving every minute of her time in Manchester.

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“I feel like I’ve been here longer than a year!” she declared. “I love being in this environment with the training, the intensity, the coaching – everything that comes with playing for City.

“I feel more settled now and I know more about what the Club is about. Hopefully, I can make more of an impact this year, knowing how things work and what suits our style of play. I want to keep pushing and continue to improve.

“I always try to be better every day. When you’re playing against the quality players here, you’re tested every day, coming up against the best strikers in Europe and the world. That makes you better.”

City kick-off our defence of the Continental Cup on Sunday with a group stage clash against Leicester at the Academy Stadium (2pm BST).

Cushing’s side have enjoyed a rare seven-day break following a hectic opening week, which included the first professional Manchester Derby and a Champions League trip to Switzerland.

Eager to retain the trophy and build a strong run of form as last year’s Cup double winners look to tackle all four competitions once more, Bonner says her side are in fine spirits.

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“Everyone’s really positive,” she added. “The first week was tough in terms of travel and games in quick succession, and players coming back from international duty.

“Everyone saw in our performance on Sunday against Reading that we’re in a really good place as a group. Everyone’s come away really positive on the back of three wins from three and we’re ready to go again on Sunday.

“It’s important to carry on our momentum. We’re going into the game on the back of three good wins and for us, no game is different – we always look to put in a good performance, especially ahead of another important week with the Champions League and Everton away next weekend.

“Good performances build momentum and here, everyone strives to be the best. At City, it’s all about winning and as soon as you lose that mentality, you shouldn’t be here. For us, it’s more about keeping our own standards high, showing what we’re capable of and the differences between teams.

“It was great to win two trophies last season but the league is really important too. We haven’t won it for a few years so that’s a definite target, as is the Champions League.

“We’ve always been strong in cup competitions but we need to improve our consistency in the league. Last year, we were disappointed to have dropped points so we’re hoping that doesn’t happen again this year.”

Tickets for City's home games at the Academy Stadium are available online or at the Ticket Office.