A Super League record crowd of more than 31,000 were at the Etihad to see Cushing’s side kick off the new season win in winning style with a 1-0 win over our cross city rivals.
A stunning 25-yard strike from Caroline Weir proved the difference and ensured the fans went home happy after a day to remember.
And the boss said he hoped both the landmark occasion – and the exciting manner of City’s display – will help persuade many to come and back the team at the Academy Stadium.
“This team have played in front of big crowds before but to play in front of 31,000 in our own stadium was great,” said Cushing.
“This was an occasion to showcase our women’s team. But our home stadium is the Academy. Hopefully, we can drive a lot of the fans to the Academy Stadium.
“We just want the fans to consistently come and support us and they’ll see the journey we’ve been on.
“We win a lot of games and we hope they are impressed by our style.
“And we’re just pleased to have repaid them with a win. “
Casey Stoney’s United proved tough and durable opponents and enjoyed the edge of things in the first half.
And the City manager believes United’s display only emphasised his belief that this would prove to be the most competitive Women’s Super League season yet.
“Every year it gets harder to win… teams are improving. The days of us and Chelsea fighting at the top have gone. I think this will be the most competitive Women’s Super League season,” Cushing added.
The boss also had words of praise for both matchwinner Weir and goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck who produced a number of key saves, most notably a stunning first half block to deny Jane Ross when the score was goalless.
“We’re pushing Caroline hard. She can be world class. She has ability and sees things others can’t see. She can contribute offensively and dictate the game.
“We have a huge responsibility to produce in the moments we need to and Ellie's first save is a huge save.
“It’s from four yards and to get across and save it shows her class. We will keep pushing her hard. We need to keep improving her.”