Champions League semi-finals beckon as Man City Women prepare to resist Danish pressure
- Manchester City Women could qualify for the semi-finals of the Champions League tonight if they can stop Danish champions Fortuna Hjorring scoring
- The game kicks off at 7pm tonight at the Academy Stadium
- Tickets are still available priced £6 regular, £4 for under 16s
City lead the Champions League quarter-final clash 1-0 after scoring a vital away goal in Denmark last week, but Fortuna have considerable Champions League experience and were finalists in 2002/2003.
Manager Nick Cushing expects an aggressive response from the Danes in the second leg of the quarter-final tonight.
“We expect Fortuna to put us under pressure, but we also expect to cope with that pressure,” he said. “They’ll probably press and be aggressive from the front, and they’ll try and dominate the ball.”
Cushing believes that if his team play the same way they have throughout the tournament so far then they stand a great chance of reaching the semi-finals.
“We don’t have a specific game plan for Fortuna. We have our own methodology, our own way of playing.”
“If we repeat the performances from previous games, here at this (Academy) stadium, where we dominate the ball and control the game and ultimately score, it will give us the best opportunity of getting through to the semi-final.”
This is City’s first Champions League campaign and the side are making history each time they step onto the pitch. Cushing insists he is not feeling the pressure at this stage of the competition.
“The pressure of being in the big competitions?” he says. “I personally don’t feel it.”
City Women goalkeeper Karen Bardsley was also at yesterday’s press conference, adding: “We’re just really excited about playing. We’re not feeling a whole lot of pressure.”
The crucial goal in last week’s first leg victory came from City’s new superstar signing, two-time FIFA Women’s Player of the Year, Carli Lloyd. Cushing said she has made a major contribution since joining the English league champion.
“She’s hit the ground running, and she’s fitted into the squad like we knew she would. Her mentality and her character are also starting to invigorate and encourage the others to see the bigger picture of what you can achieve with hard work and enthusiasm.”
Bardsley added: “The girls love having her here. She’s fitted in really nicely into the group.”
The game kicks off at 7pm tonight at the Academy Stadium. Tickets are priced £6, with £4 for under 16s.