Cushing: The fans can be our 12th player
- 26 March 2016 12:55
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
Nick Cushing has urged the City faithful to replicate the atmosphere which helped his side to all three points against Notts County.
With injury time approaching, the home crowd rallied to spur the Blues on and were rewarded with Steph Houghton's injury time strike, which sparked scenes of jubilation both on the pitch and in the stands.
The City boss believes the fans can play a big part in his side's bid to maintain the Academy Stadium's label as a fortress and compete for silverware.
He told mcfc.co.uk: "To play at home, in front of our fans and in our unbelievable facilities, is something we look forward to whoever we play.
"All we want to do is get in front of our fans, get the ball down, pass it about and try to create as many opportunities to win the game so our fans enjoy themselves.
"We’ve had some great games and some great days in the Academy Stadium over the past year. As well as Wednesday's game, Notts County at home at the end of last season is a particular highlight - the crowd was buzzing, and if we can replicate that atmosphere against Arsenal, it would be like having a 12th player.
"I remember watching England play China at the Academy Stadium and it was full. That's something I’ve strived for and always wanted to do.
"The more people we can get in, the more noise we can make. The more support we get, the better our chances of winning a game."
The Blues have a 100% record in 2016 but face their toughest challenge yet with the visit of England's most successful women's team, Arsenal.
With both sides favouring an attacking style of play, Cushing believes the clash could be settled by a single moment of brilliance.
He explained: "Arsenal play a similar style to us - they want to get the ball down and dominate possession so it’s going to be a little bit like a game of chess.
"A lot of teams come to the Academy Stadium and sit in and try and block the pitch up, playing 22 players in one half - but Arsenal won’t do that.
"They’ll come at us and try and dominate the ball as well so it will be a good game. In our meetings during my reign, the team that has been technically superior with the most possession has won the game.
"We’ve won a few, Arsenal have won a few and we look forward to trying to get another win and get another three points on the board.
"Our pre-season schedule has been really key to our successful start of the season. We wanted to play teams that would provide tough opposition, who were also experienced in winning trophies.
"Rosengard, Pitea and Melbourne were all teams that came first or second in their respective leagues and we’ve beat them.
"We know that doesn’t mean we’re going to win on Monday. We have to perform, we have to play our way and stick to our plan. If we do that and work hard, then we’ll win the game."
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