12 February 2020

New era begins at Manchester City as Alan Mahon prepares to take charge of first game, but insists he will not be changing much

Manchester City caretaker boss Alan Mahon's managerial debut was dampened after Storm Ciara forced their match against West Ham to be postponed last Sunday.

Mahon served for five years as assistant to former manager Nick Cushing, who departed for New York City FC last week.

And while the weather disruption was a momentum staller, Mahon was unfazed and said he had bigger things to worry about ahead of City’s home clash with Bristol City tonight, like ensuring his players can grasp his Irish brogue.

He said: “I’m looking forward to my first team talk. Hopefully the girls will understand me with my accent!

“But in all seriousness everything will be simple, exactly the way we’ve always done things.

“We’re all looking forward to getting back on track. It was difficult not having the game against West Ham at the weekend but we’re excited to pick up where we left off.”

The 41-year-old admitted some players could have a harder time adjusting to Cushing’s departure than others.

“Yes, it’s going to be a change,” he added. "Some players have only been coached at a senior level by Nick, but these things happen in football.

“You just have to keep focused and moved onto the next stage.”

And Mahon is confident in the effort he’d seen from his squad, who have won nine of their last 11 games against The Robins.  

He said: “Everyone has worked really hard over the past couple of weeks and the players are breeding confidence.  

"We know we have to keep the momentum going because we want to finish what we started.”

City, with 36 points, sit one ahead of Chelsea in the league table, although the Blues do have a game in hand on their title rivals.

And Mahon insisted his side cannot be complacent against bottom of the table Bristol City, even if they did dispatch them 5-0 earlier on in the campaign.

“We know it’s all in our hands, there’s no skirting around that, and we can’t slip up like we did last year," he added.

“We put ourselves in this great position because we’re a good team. We just have to prepare right and make sure we get the results we need.

“Every game is important. There are no easy games in the WSL.”

The father of two daughters also told The Sun his daughters look up to certain members of his squad, in particular Lionesses Jill Scott and Steph Houghton.

He said: “Players like Steph and Jill give my girls hope, inspiration and something to focus on.

“It shows what can be achieved. It shows you can do anything.”

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