Women's Team

Roebuck: Bardsley return great for everyone

JUMPING FOR JOY: Goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck joins in the celebrations after Caroline Weir's goal
Ellie Roebuck says Karen Bardsley’s return to training couldn’t be timed any better.

The England international has missed most of the season after an operation on her hamstring last August.

In her absence, Roebuck has shone for City and blossomed into one of the country’s best young keepers.

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“It’s nice to have KB back in the group,” said Roebuck.

“Hopefully, we’ll push each other to the next level. Competition for the keeper’s jersey has already been high between me and Karima, so to add another person into the mix will make it even higher.

“It will push us all on. I like the challenge!”

Roebuck admits she has had to step up in Bardsley’s absence and find a high level of consistency.

City’s 2-1 win over Arsenal maintained the lead at the top of the FA Women’s Super League, with West Ham next on the agenda this Sunday.

“It’s been different this season with KB’s injury,” she said. “I’ve had to focus on playing and helping the team, playing well.

“For my own development, I train to progress and get that spot – that’s the aim at the end of the day: for me, for KB and for Karima Benameur.

“Karima has pushed me unbelievably. She’s not had much game time but she played against Leicester and she’s been unbelievable in training, pushing me really hard. She’s a great person to have around.

“Naturally, as a goalkeeper, in every game, you have to concentrate – whoever you are playing against. Anyone can strike a ball from 30 yards – you have to be ready to save it.

“In the moment, you don’t think about specific players – just what you have to do to get behind the ball.

“You know a team’s threats – you sit down through the week so you can have an idea what to expect… but you can’t plan anything! You have to prepare for all things.

We are more motivated than ever. Come the end of the season, we want to be lifting trophies.”

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