Women's Team

Bronze: It’s amazing to be back

Lucy Bronze says she could not be happier to be back in action for City.

The right-back has started all four of our games in 2022, having missed the first half of the campaign following knee surgery.

Though she had been in contention before the Christmas break, the defender was forced to wait her turn with games postponed – a frustrating delay for the 30-year-old.

Reflecting on the England star’s return, Head Coach Gareth Taylor stated it is no surprise her comeback has coincided with an upturn in fortunes for the squad, who have won our last six on the spin.

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Now Bronze, who earned her fourth inclusion in the FIFPRO World XI this week, is eager to show what City and England have been missing.

“Personally, to be back on the pitch has been amazing,” she told mancity.com.

“I did have to wait a little bit longer than normal injured players, having had so many games called off before Christmas.

“There was an international break as well before Christmas where I was actually just about fully fit and raring to go, so I’ve had to wait another month again to get gametime… but then it’s all come at once!

“I’ve managed to start four games in a week off the back of being out for five months so I’m pretty happy with that.”

City host heavyweights Arsenal on Sunday night in a crunch clash against the league leaders.

With Taylor’s side having suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the Gunners in the away fixture, Bronze asserts the squad are relishing the chance to put things right.

“I think we’re all excited that we’re playing at home against Arsenal,” she added. “We know that we play well at home with the style that we like to play.

“We’ve got a lot of players back fit and the team’s ticking well at the minute. Arsenal are probably struggling compared to the form they had the last time we played each other – they were flying and were the team to beat and were doing so well.

“Since then, they’ve edged through the Champions League but they struggled and then also lost to Birmingham but you can take all that out the equation because ultimately, when both teams step on the pitch, it doesn’t matter about the last result and how much they beat us by or how many times we’ve beaten them before – it’s just about the two teams going head-to-head there in that moment.

“We’re quite confident and we know we just need to keep picking up three points and pulling ourselves up the league table slowly but Arsenal are going to be desperate to get points out of the game because they’ll want to keep that top spot.

“It’s a big game for both teams and hopefully, it’ll be a good game.”

With City having graced home soil for the first time since November in the midweek Continental Cup quarter-final triumph over Bristol, Bronze was delighted to don the shirt at the Academy Stadium in front of the Blue faithful.

With family and friends also in attendance this weekend, the right-back hopes to shine once again on the big stage, having regularly done so for Club and country.

“I hadn’t played in front of the fans in a very long time in a City shirt so it will be really nice,” she added.

“My family will be able to come as well. I moved back to City to be closer to family and friends and then obviously last year they didn’t get to come to a single game!

“Then I had to tell my mum I was having surgery and missing loads of games!

“It will be nice for both my family and friends to be able to come over and watch a game in real life because it’s been a long time!”

City v Arsenal

Don't miss your chance to cheer on Gareth Taylor's side against the Gunners on Sunday 23 January. Kick-off is 18:45 at the Academy Stadium.

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