Jill Scott believes the extra time off the City players were given over Christmas will be beneficial over the course of the season.

City have had to negotiate a packed schedule so far this term, with Champions League involvement meaning our campaign began earlier than most of our WSL rivals.

And with 10 of our squad picked for World Cup action in the summer, there’s been little time to rest and recuperate from last season's exertions. 

Nick Cushing handed the players some extra days off over the festive period, a decision Scott feels will bring rewards in the long-term.

“Everyone had a good Christmas,” she said. “Nick said we could have a little bit of extra time off, which was good.

“I think it was because of the World Cup and then a gruelling pre-season and then Champions League as well.

"Where other clubs had a bit more of a break, we were still playing and travelling, so we did get a few extra days off over Christmas.

“But that gruelling moment came where having been off we then have fitness testing!

"It can be hard to train on your own sometimes. But we’ve trained this week and the girls look good.

"Maybe in the past you’ve had to trust everyone has done their own fitness programme, but we’ve got such a great group of professional athletes here now that we know they’ve gone away and done what they needed to do.

"We’re all excited to get back together.

“People sometimes look at breaks as a bad thing but one thing I’ve learned is you can’t just keep going because you end up plateauing. It’s important [to rest]. 

"Yeah it hurts a bit more when you come back and start running but you get that back as time goes on.

"These breaks are important and the teams who are the cleverest with them are still running come the end of the season.

"I’m confident we have got it right."

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City travel to Tottenham on Sunday as our WSL campaign resumes.

Spurs currently sit seventh in the WSL table with 13 points from 10 games – a decent start to life in the top flight after their promotion from the Championship in May.

City are second, three points adrift of leaders Arsenal, with regaining the title very much at the forefront of our minds.

City are overwhelming favourites, which Scott acknowledges, but she says the conditions won’t be easy and Tottenham should not be underestimated.

“I know the manager [Karen Hill] quite well,” she said. “She’s very driven and competitive.

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“They are very organised. It won’t be one of those games where because we’re higher in the league we will beat them. It’s at their place and I know the pitch isn’t great.

“We will have to be top of our game and I expect a very difficult match.

“But let’s get the three points on the board and focus on the next one.

“Going into this game if you said to them you’ll get a point, they would be happy. So we have to go there and score and perform to beat them.

“We have a lot of respect Tottenham and it’s great to see them in the WSL. They have a great structure at their club.

“What will they throw at us? Will the come out and play? Will they press us? Our preparation has to be spot on.

“Nick always gets that right. He covers every possibility, so when we step out on the pitch we can’t say ‘oh we didn’t expect that’ because he has it all covered.”

Watch Tottenham Hotspur Women v City (Sunday 5 January, 2pm) in the FA Women's Super League live on the FA Player.