27 September 2020

Manchester City’s Keira Walsh: ‘The FA Cup is so special, we want to win it twice in one season’

Manchester City midfielder Keira Walsh says the prospect of ‘making history’ in the FA Cup by winning the title twice in a season is ‘special’.

Two FA Cup trophies will be lifted this season as the 2019/20 tournament will be completed before this season’s  gets underway.

The first hurdle in the defending champions’ way of becoming history-makers is a quarter-final against Championship side Leicester City, a match Walsh told NewsChain will be ‘tough’.

She said: "The girls are looking forward to it. We were hoping we could finish the FA Cup last year but I think it’s quite special that there’s potential of winning two FA Cups in one season.

"Obviously that’s never happened before so that's something we're looking to do. That’s something our manager has spoken about and it will be making history.

“But I think you know first off it's about beating Leicester, they are going to be a tough opponent so we’re taking it one game at a time really.”

Walsh has said Leicester will be a 'tough opponent' (PA)

Walsh added City are not going to ‘take their foot off the gas’ just because they are playing the only remaining Championship club in the tournament.

“I think there is always an emphasis on the team taking every game the same and playing the same way and playing with the same intensity. I don't think that’s going to change because we are playing a Championship team.

“You know they've got some top players, so yeah we're not going to be taking our foot off of the gas because it’s a Championship team, we're going to be bringing our best game.”

Walsh also said the preparation for this weekend’s quarter-final has been good especially as nine City players were training together last week in the England camp.

She added: "I think obviously we had a lot of girls on England camp so I think the atmosphere and still being around a lot of team-mates was good. The intensity on England camp has kept us fresh and feeling good towards that game.

“Coming back with the group it's always easy as we've got such a good bunch of girls so yeah I think the prep has been good and we're all looking forward to getting back and playing as a team again.”  

City have signed a wealth of talent over the summer break, most of whom have made their debuts for the club, except one - midfielder Rose Lavelle who may make an appearance this weekend.

Walsh says Lavelle’s presence at the club gives her more motivation as she has more competition for her shirt.

“I think all the top teams have got at least two players for every position and I think if that’s what you've got to do to win I think you need that competition,” she said.

“That’s something we have spoken about as a squad, it's team first and not the player so as long as the team is doing well and getting the wins that’s all that matters really.”

Lavelle signed for City over the summer (Zuma Press/PA Images)

As well as Lavelle, City have recruited World Cup winner Sam Mewis and England stars Chloe Kelly, Alex Greenwood and Lucy Bronze.

Walsh said they have all settled into the team.

"I think if you asked any of the girls I think they would say the same, it doesn't feel like we've got a lot of new signings because they have fitted in so well. Obviously it's great to have so many new faces around the building but in terms of the way they've fitted into the team it’s been great.

"Lucy was here at the club before so she kind of knows how everything works and a lot of us have played with Alex on the England team and they are both just such top players. The two American girls have been fantastic as well.

“I think they've been a great addition in terms of bringing that mentality and they've got so much experience on the world stage. You know it’s a great opportunity for us to learn off them. Chloe Kelly is another player who’s got top quality in her, she’s such an exciting young player which in this club can help her and take her to places she wants to go. She’s going to be brilliant for us in the future.”

And the 23 year-old said she hopes players from overseas joining the WSL ‘doesn’t stop here’.

She added: “It shows how strong and competitive it is. When people from overseas are signing it shows that high level and we are quite lucky to be English and to play here for a lot of seasons.

"But yeah it's exciting and I hope that can continue and it doesn't stop here really.”

Leicester City v Man City will kick off at 2pm on Sunday.

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