Leicester City Women manager Jonathan Morgan watches from the touchline as his team are beaten by Durham Women Leicester City Women v Durham Women, Women's Championship football match, Farley Way Stadium, Loughborough, UK - 18 Aug 2019 Photo: Jon Super for The FA

Leicester City will take on some of the world’s best – Morgan

Leicester City manager Jonathan Morgan has admitted that his side will come up against some of the best players in the world when they face Women’s FA Cup holders Manchester City in their quarter-final tie at Farley Way on Sunday.

A four-figure crowd is expected to be recorded for the match as cup-fever has hit the FA Women’s Championship club. It is the first time that The Foxes have ever reached the last eight of the competition and with Leicester City in decent form, they must not be under-estimated by top flight giants Manchester City.

In an exclusive interview with FA Women’s Super League Full-Time, Leicester City boss Morgan has admitted that his senior players have remained focussed ahead of Manchester City’s visit but the cup run has certainly captured the imagination of the younger players.

“We have continued to prepare as normal like we do for any game” said Morgan.

“Everyone at the club amongst the senior set up have remained grounded even though we are aware of the enormaty of the game.

“The girls have prepped very well and have remained focused so we can execute our game plan to the best of our ability.

“What has been extremely nice to see is all our younger players in the youth setup showing a large amount of excitement and how inspired they have become from our senior players.

“On a regular basis in and around training they have been coming up to first team players asking how we are feeling and to get a greater insight into how players prepare for such big occasions.

“This is great because it really epitomises the family ethos we have here at the club.”

Leicester City’s journey to the quarter-finals has been one which has seen the club overcome two very different challenges. Morgan’s side remained professional to defeat lower division opponents Burnley 3-1 in the fourth round of the competition before recording the ‘Shock of the Round’ in the fifth round, seeing off FA Women’s Super League side Reading 2-1 after extra-time at Farley Way.

Despite the professional, level-headed approach which Morgan and his side have implemented ahead of Sunday’s quarter-final tie, the Leicester City boss could do nothing but express his delight at the club’s superb achievements in the competition this season.

He added “For everyone associated at the club, it is seen as a massive accomplishment.

“I think we are savouring such a historic milestone, even more so because of the manner we accomplished it in such a dramatic game against WSL side Reading.

“It cannot be under-estimated how much this means to the club and it’s supporters and we feel we have etched ourselves a little bit in the history of the FA Cup.

“This will provide a positive platform for ourselves to move forward and is also a small taste of the type of successes we want to experience on a regular basis.”

Several members of Manchester City’s multi-national squad have clocked up the air miles during the last two weeks as they have tested themselves with their respective nations on the international stage. Leicester City boss Morgan is not expecting too much tiredness from the visitors on Sunday and has highlighted the world class quality in the Manchester City squad.

“All we can do is prepare our own game” said the Leicester City boss. “The one constant message I have delivered to the girls is that we are playing a team full of world class players, some are in the bracket as the best in the world.
“We would be naive to think that the recent internationals would make Manchester City play differently.
“A club of their stature would have every angle covered and we must match that mindset behind the scenes to give us the best chance of any success on Sunday.”
Leicester City have already faced Manchester City this season in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup. On that occasion, The Foxes went down 5-0 at The Academy Stadium. The East Midlands club conceded 25 goals in their four group matches in that competition but their manager is taking the positives from his side’s tests against the full-timers from the top flight.
Morgan said “In all honesty, our young guns have been very lucky this year with cup competitions.
“In the Continental Cup, we had the opportunity to play Manchester United, Manchester City, Everton and Birmingham City and now in the FA Cup, we are playing the likes of Reading and Manchester City again.
“This has allowed our players to really see what it takes to be at the top level and we have certainly seen the improvements within the youngsters in terms of their understanding of what professionalism should look like.
“All our cup games this season have been brilliant opportunities.”
Leicester City’s development this season is not so different to the journey which Midlands rivals Aston Villa enjoyed last season. Like Villa, a young Leicester City side found the going tough at the start of the season but they are beginning to now reap the rewards of their hard work. While Gemma Davies’ side could be just weeks away from being promoted to the FA Women’s Super League, Leicester City boss Morgan has similar long term aims for his side.
“A lot of people raised eyebrows at our transfer policies this year with us choosing to bring in such a large number of youngsters” admitted Morgan.
“What we are seeing now is that their hunger for the game is second to none.
“They have gone from strength-to-strength and our recent form is no surprise to everyone connected to the club.
“We are ahead with our own targets and we are very much looking forward to the future.
“We hope to continue with this positivity and build the club to reach our overall aim of becoming an FA Women’s Super League outfit.
Leicester City’s Women’s FA Cup quarter-final tie against Manchester City on Sunday is scheduled to kick-off at 2pm. There are limited tickets remaining for the match which can be purchased by clicking here.

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