Steph Houghton has focused on the return of Manchester City when Euro 2022 promises

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English captain Steph Houghton puts in mind this year ‘s European Summer Championships, as it focuses on recovering form and fitness with Manchester City.

The 33-year-old defender returned to the game with two appearances last week after a four-month hiatus due to an ankle injury.

Her return is good news for England ahead of next month’s four-team tournament, which will feature Canada, Spain and Germany, the April World Cup qualifiers and, above all, the Euro 2022 home tour.

And yet Houghton, who removed further disruptions by signing a new contract in the City this week, not yet looking so far ahead.

Houghton said: “My first goal is to go back to training and get back to playing in a Manchester City shirt. Over the next few weeks, I will focus on continuing to gain more minutes, play well, and regain form and confidence after a few months of downtime.

“Yes, of course, it’s an exciting time when you’re thinking about the euro at home, but it’s just a good game for City, and then everything else will work out on its own.”

Houghton has been the cornerstone of City’s success since the club was re-established in 2014. In 2016, she won the Women’s Super League title and won both the FA Cup and the League Cup three times with City.

Neither she nor the club have revealed the length of her new deal, but Houghton said he plans to stay in City for years to come.

Her position in the game would undoubtedly become the target of other clubs, but she insists she never intended to play elsewhere.

“I think it’s been a few crazy days, but I’m obviously happy to be able to dedicate my future to the club,” she said.

“I’ve been here since the beginning – eight years – and I love every minute. I still feel that excitement as I drive through the door and come to training. I hope to have a lot more of this in the next few years.

“I feel like the only place I want to play my football is in Manchester. I still feel like I can develop as a player, a leader and a person, and I feel like this is the best place for me.”

Houghton’s new deal came after English teammate Lauren Hemp signed a two-year contract extension with the club.

Manager Gareth Taylor hopes more will follow.

Taylor said: “We are constantly striving to be ahead of the game by contracting and looking further to see where we can improve.

“But when you change things a lot in the summer, it can cause some problems, so the less it is, the better for us.

“We really want to secure most of the players we have. We are really happy with what we have at the moment. ”

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