Women's Team

Houghton and Weir: Unsung hero Coombs playing a crucial role

Steph Houghton and Caroline Weir have hailed Laura Coombs as the unsung hero in Manchester City women’s first team.

A technically gifted midfielder with an eye for the spectacular, Coombs is a popular figure in the dressing room and both Houghton and Weir believe she plays a vital role within the group.

The 30-year-old made 24 appearances last season, scoring stunning goals in back-to-back games against Liverpool, Bristol City and Manchester United.

She was forced to wait patiently for opportunities at times, but was rewarded with a two-year contract extension last month and Houghton says City's No.7 is someone who can be counted on as she praised her exceptional attitude and application.

“She would probably like to play more – at the beginning of the season, she was one of the first names on the team sheet – but in terms of her application and her personality, and what she brings to the team, she’s very consistent,” explained the City captain.

“You know what you’re going to get and you need those types of people. When you’re fighting for a lot of trophies, you need to be able to trust each other, you need people who work hard and are supportive as well.

“Maybe she’s not as high profile as others in the team but her work rate, overall personality and ability to mix with youngsters and check in with them really helps me and the other girls to have that side of it.”

Weir makes a similar assessment.

“Coombsy would be my unsung hero,” said the Scotland international.

“She’s a great person to be around – she’s super supportive, even if she’s not playing. When she does play, she always does a good job.”

The playmaker feels a team first mentality is a trademark of a City squad that has more depth than ever before.

It means competition for places is fierce, but Weir believes that has brought out the best in players, both in terms of performance and the atmosphere within the camp.

“That’s what’s great about this squad: players who are patient and sit on the bench support team and perform,” she added.

“When they get their chance, they can come on and contribute to goals, help the team win. That shows the depth of our squad. Gaz was really clear about that when he came in.

“We have a bigger squad than we’re used to and the quality of the squad went up whole new level. We knew we were going to have to be at our best to stay in team.

“It’s about taking your chance when it comes, finding some consistency and ensuring the team is the most important thing. We’ve been challenging each other and that’s a huge part of the culture.”

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