City ready for Reds test

Manchester City face a daunting task this Sunday as they take on Liverpool Ladies, but manager Nick Cushing insists he could not ask for a better goalkeeper to keep the defending champions at bay.

Cushing’s side have been inconsistent this season, earning a spot in The FA WSL Continental Cup but sitting fourth in FA Women’s Super League 1 with nine points from seven games.

Manchester City v Liverpool Ladies

The FA WSL 1

2pm, Sunday 27 July 2014

Manchester Regional Arena

By Jonathan Green

But one area of their game that has not faltered is the form of goalkeeper Karen Bardsley.

England shot-stopper Bardsley was in fine form against Arsenal earlier in the season, and starred as City sneaked past Notts County Ladies 1-0 when the WSL returned to action earlier this month.

And while Cushing knows Bardsley will undoubtedly be busy when they host reigning champions Liverpool this weekend, the City boss believes his number one is more than up to the task.

“Karen is an unbelievable professional and she works so hard on the training pitch,” said Cushing.

“She works harder than anybody I’ve ever known, so it’s no surprise when she pulls out great saves. 

“That save [from Notts County’s Jess Clarke] was just as good as the goal that won the game. It was the same at Arsenal when she made a fantastic save from Kelly Smith.

Manchester City boss Nick Cushing.

Manchester City boss Nick Cushing

“Karen is reaping the fruits of the work she puts in. That’s what I tell players – work hard and you’ll get the benefit.”

Liverpool sit one place and three points above City in the table, but with a win apiece for both sides in their league and FA WSL Continental Cup clashes so far this season, Reds defender Gemma Bonner is taking nothing for granted.

“They’ve had a few good results so far so it will be a tough test, especially being away at their ground,” added Bonner.

“They’ve always got a great atmosphere so it will be a tough week for us but one that we’re looking forward to.

“The good thing with having games so close together is that if you win you want to play again straight away, while if you lose you want to put things right as soon as possible. 

“It will be a tough week but the girls are ready for it and looking forward to it.”