Fantastic Fox O'Brien on the prowl again after injury woes
Leicester star Shannon O'Brien is back in business and determined to remind the Women's Super League what she is capable of.
After missing the bulk of last term with a string of injuries, including a torn quad muscle, the England youth international burst back onto the scene at the start of this season.
Another quadriceps issue sidelined her again in November but with four starts under her belt last month — including a goal in the 5-1 Conti Cup rout of Everton — the Coventry-born ace has title-chasing Manchester City firmly in her sights.
Speaking to LiveScore ahead of Sunday's showdown at the Joie Stadium, O'Brien said: "I'm just dying to get some consistency now. I've not had that at all for a year or so.
"Since I've been back, I've had a really good amount of minutes and I can feel my sharpness and match fitness coming back.
"Instead of just getting 20 minutes here and there, the manager has thrown me straight in and I'm really grateful for that.
"Once I get one or two more months under my belt, I'll be looking to work on specific parts of my game again.
"For now, though, it's all about staying fit and enjoying my football again."
On the rise
O'Brien, 22, helped the Foxes beat Everton 1-0 last weekend to secure their first WSL success since October.
Despite their poor run of league results, Willie Kirk's side have shown great promise and his attacker is encouraged by the progress being made.
She said: "Definitely from during my time here, this is the most promising season and promising squad of players I've played with.
"We've let ourselves down at times in conceding late goals because some of the positions we've put ourselves in have been fantastic.
"But generally I think we've really improved defensively and we have much better squad depth now.
"If someone's flagging after 60 minutes, it's a quality replacement coming on and that helps you maintain performances.
"We're showing we can compete with the best sides on our day."
That new-found ability to compete with the league's strongest sides will be put to the test by City.
While O'Brien has plenty of respect for Gareth Taylor's team, there is no suggestion the visitors will compromise their style.
She added: "You can't approach the game with the mindset of, 'Oh no, it's Man City'. We won't do that.
"If you change the way you play and give them too much respect, they'll punish you. We have to trust how we want to approach things.
"We've done our analysis as normal. We know we need to keep things tight early but we have goals in us and we go there believing we'll get something."