Women's Team

Ellie Roebuck: No excuse not to challenge in Champions League

Ellie Roebuck says there is no reason why Manchester City can’t mount a serious challenge in this season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Gareth Taylor's side will face Swedish outfit Göteborg in the Round of 32 and Roebuck admits there is a collective desire to improve our performance in Europe’s elite club cup competition.


City reached the semi-finals for two years in succession in 2017 and 2018 but have since failed to go beyond the last 16, something Roebuck is determined to change this season.

“As a club, it’s the competition we want to progress in and get better in,” she said.

“In the first few years, we reached the semi-finals, which was a good achievement, but we haven’t done anything since.

“We should rightfully try and progress in that tournament and with the players we have and the girls we’ve brought in this year, there’s no reason why we can’t.”

Whilst European glory has eluded City, there are two players within Taylor’s squad who have tasted continental success.

Lucy Bronze and Alex Greenwood arrived in the summer fresh from helping European powerhouses Olympique Lyon to a seventh Champions League title.

England international Bronze has lifted the trophy on three occasions and Roebuck believes her team-mates’ experience will prove invaluable.

“Lucy and Alex have had a taste of winning it. They know what it takes,” added the 21-year-old.

“It’s nice that they can bring that experience and contribute from that point of view.

“I have no idea what it feels like to play in the latter stages of the tournament but we can take all of those experiences and hopefully, that will help us."

Bronze and Greenwood were one of five new signings this summer, which has added real depth to Taylor’s squad.

With hectic periods in both October and November it has been a blessing for the manager and it is something Roebuck feels can change City’s recent fortunes in Europe.

Atletico Madrid ended our Champions League hopes in the last 32 in 2018-19 and again in the Round of 16 last season and Roebuck hopes the ability to freshen the team up can help us avoid the frustrations of the past.

“Now, we have the numbers – everyone can play and everyone is fighting for their position,” she explained.

“Sometimes, you get to the stage of the season when the Champions League kicks in and if you’re playing with a similar XI every game, it can be difficult as players can be tired. That’s not an excuse – it’s a fact of football.

“We know we should have been better. We had opportunities to win those games but we didn’t take them, so we were rightfully knocked out. We had to take our medicine and move on.

“This year, we’ve got the numbers so there are no excuses. There’s depth in positions, everyone’s fighting [for their place].

“That hunger within the squad will hopefully show on the pitch, and we’ve got people to come off the bench and make an impact.”