‘Pep Guardiola wants to see you in his office in 20 minutes,’ the receptionist announced calmly.
At first, Steph Houghton thought it was a wind-up. Guardiola’s team were in the thick of a Premier League season, and four days after thumping Tottenham 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium, were due at Goodison Park for a tricky-looking fixture with Everton.
The Manchester City and England captain had only called into the training centre to pick up a piece of equipment to aid her rehab from an achilles injury.
She was, it is safe to say, not expecting to be called upstairs.