Carli Lloyd has elevated Manchester City squad to another level - Nick Cushing

29 March 2017 04:38

Manchester City Women boss Nick Cushing believes the signing of Carli Lloyd has elevated his squad to another level.

The world player of the year has made a positive impression since joining City on a short-term deal in February and scored the winner in last week's Champions League quarter-final first-leg victory over Fortuna Hjorring.

City are now hoping to secure a place in the last four as they host the Danish side in the second leg of their tie on Thursday.

Cushing feels American World Cup-winner Lloyd has brought an extra edge to the Women's Super League champions' dressing room.

He said: "I think the players have reacted really well because we want good people here and she is a good person. She is very motivated to be successful and, like all the players, plays the style of football we want to play.

"She has hit the ground running and fitted into the squad. Her mentality and her character is almost starting to invigorate and entice the others to see the bigger picture of what you can achieve with hard work and enthusiasm.

"By getting on the training pitch, loving the game and working hard, you can achieve whatever you want to achieve."

Victory at the City Football Academy would take Cushing's side through to a semi-final against Lyon or Wolfsburg.

City hold a 1-0 aggregate advantage but Cushing expects a reaction from Fortuna.

He said: "The way they played against us in the first leg was not how they played in their previous games. They showed us respect. They are normally a pressing team and they didn't press. That allowed us to take control of the game.

"I think they'll probably revert to type and be aggressive from the front and try to dominate the ball. I expect them to come out, they have to score.

"We are aware of the threat but we don't have any specific plan for them. We have our own methodology and our own way of playing. If we repeat performances from previous games it will give us the best opportunity of going through to the semi-finals."

Source: PA