Manchester City captain Steph Houghton determined to finish on a high for outgoing boss Nick Cushing

Steph Houghton is 'gutted' that Nick Cushing is leaving (PA Images)
12:52pm, Thu 30 Jan 2020
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Manchester City captain Steph Houghton says she is full focused on beating title rivals Arsenal this weekend to ensure departing manager Nick Cushing leaves on a high.

Cushing will manage his final match for City on Sunday as they face the Gunners in the Women's Super League. 

The boss has been at the club for six years but is moving to MLS side New York City.

Houghton said: “It would be nice to send the gaffer off with three points and us top of the league but I know for a fact he won’t want it about him.

“I’m gutted he’s going – he’s not just a manager: he’s a friend, and he’ll be a big miss for the league and for women’s football. I’ve always said: he’s been an unbelievable coach for me personally and also for the Club. 

“Where we were in 2014 to now, people look at us to copy our model of play. The Club tries to win as many football games as we can in all competitions. Ultimately, he stays within the City Football Group which is fantastic. It’s an unbelievable opportunity for him – to go into men’s football."

Houghton, middle, with Cushing at the FA Cup final in 2019 (PA Images)

City lost 2-1 to Arsenal last night in their League Cup semi-final and Houghton has said the side need to sit down and review the performance in order to win on Sunday.

“We have to go back and review the Conti Cup game and recover as a team as well as we can. We have to get ready to start better than we did on Wednesday," she added.

“When you get to the semi-final stage of a competition, especially with the Conti Cup being special to us and us as the current holders, it’s disappointing not to be in the Final.

“This Club deserves to be in Cup Finals, but we didn’t play well enough to do that.

“Arsenal have quality players and when you give a team like that two goals, it’s difficult to come back. We have to make sure we impose our game on Arsenal [on Sunday] and give them respect but not too much.

“I don’t think Sunday’s game will change in terms of the way we approach it. We aim to win every game and I believe in my teammates. We have a lot more to give.

“There’s a long way to go. We’ve seen different results in this league – that’s what this league is about: making life difficult – and we never expect to win. Come Sunday, we’ll be ready to fight for this league.”

Man City vs Arsenal kicks off at 2pm on Sunday and can be watched using the FA Player App.

There will also be a full match report on the NewsChain website immediately after the final whistle.

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