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Demi Stokes sets Man City target after Women's Super League lesson learned

Manchester City defender Demi Stokes believes it's crucial for the Blues to make a strong start to the season if they are to achieve their goal of picking up silverware this term.

Gareth Taylor's side finished fourth in the Women's Super League [WSL] last season, missing out on European qualification on goal difference. City had endured a tricky start to the campaign, losing to both Aston Villa and Chelsea before embarking on an impressive 14-game unbeaten run.

With last season's slow start in mind, Stokes admits the Blues need to be firing on all cylinders if they are to avoid the same fate this term. “For success at this club, [we need] silverware, given last year we were disappointed that we didn’t [get any]," she said.

"So absolutely we want silverware this year because we know as a club, we know our standards, and I think we showed that after Christmas, you could see we went on a really good run, so we know it's about starting the season well, picking up points early, and then going from there.”

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Last season was a challenging one for Stokes, with injury sidelining her for the majority of the campaign. She signed a one-year contract extension in June and, after a four-month summer break, is raring to return to WSL action.

"I'm very excited," she said. "I felt like the girls were away for like three years and I feel like pre-season has been really long. So it's just nice to have all of us back together.

"Everyone's fit and healthy. And yeah, just get the season going and start off with a win. I’m feeling good and just looking forward to it.”

The 31-year-old was speaking at the official renaming event of City Women's home ground.