JULIE BLAKSTAD hopes Manchester City will be ready to ‘smash’ Man United when they go toe-to-toe in a sell-out derby.
And the success of her Norway team-mates’ in the WSL partly inspired the midfielder to take a chance on a move to England.
Blakstad, 20, sealed a January transfer to Man City from Rosenborg following weeks of speculation in the Norwegian press.
The WSL starlet, who signed a two-year deal, has hit the ground running with impressive cameos in City’s 3-0 FA Cup semis defeat of Tottenham and a 1-0 loss to Chelsea.
Of her first Manchester derby, Blakstad said: “It can go either way and that’s the best thing about it – you don’t know the outcome beforehand.
“Much of how the game goes depends on the mentality you go into the game with.
“That’s an important thing for us. We have to have the right mentality, just go out there and smash them.
“I’m here to develop, and I want to play, that would be great but it’s all about winning so it’s up to Gareth (Taylor) to find the best team. But if he picks me, I’ll be ready.”
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A small number of Blakstad’s national team-mates have made their mark in the Women’s Super League in recent years.
They include Guro Reiten, 27, and Maren Mjelde, 32, who have enjoyed trophy-winning success with Chelsea.
Most recently the duo helped the Blues to a fourth WSL title and triumph in the Continental Tyres Cup with the team also winning last year’s FA Cup.
And Blakstad revealed advice from Reiten and Man United defender Maria Thorisdottir, 28, helped her make the decision on a WSL switch.
Like Blakstad, Thorisdottir made a January transfer of her own moving to United from Chelsea last year after a four-season spell at Kingsmeadow.
The midfielder, who made her Norway debut in a defeat of Wales in 2020, added: “Maria has taken a great step going to Chelsea and then Manchester United and shown that it’s really possible to succeed.
“It’s quite a good inspiration for me and Guro and Maren have also done very well so far.
“I spoke to Guro and Maria – given Maria moved to Manchester in the middle of a season – because I thought it may be difficult to make a January move
“At this stage (of a season) a team is settled, and it might be more difficult to come into the squad.
“Maria was honest and said that it was something she may not wish to do again.
“I felt this was the right time (to move) as I had nothing to lose.
“The opportunity is there, and you just have to take it with both hands.”
Manchester United, who are third, come into this game off the back of a draw with leaders Arsenal who picked up a point against Chelsea on Friday.
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A win would see Marc Skinner’s side cut the Gunners’ lead to just three points at the top with eight games remaining in the race for the title and top three.
Skinner, 38 who won January’s WSL Manager of the Month award, said: “I’m challenging our team that we have to bring our very best for the remainder of the games this season.
“And if we do that we will back with no regrets whatsoever.”