Thursday, April 27, 2017

Confident Roberts ready to wing in for City

SoccerNews in Scottish Premier League 7 Dec 2016

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Patrick Roberts is unconcerned about the raft of wide players potentially blocking his path to the Manchester City first team.

Roberts joined Celtic on an 18-month loan deal in January and returned to his parent club on Tuesday, marking the occasion with a superbly taken goal and a dazzling display in a 1-1 Champions League draw at the Etihad Stadium.

City boss Pep Guardiola personally congratulated the 19-year-old on his performance afterwards but the Catalan already boasts an array of options on the flanks.

Guardiola brought in Nolito and Leroy Sane – the latter for around £37million – to join Raheem Sterling and Jesus Navas in his squad during the close season, while Colombia international Marlos Moreno is in the same boat as Roberts and will hope to press his case while on loan at Deportivo La Coruna this term.

Nevertheless, Roberts’ confidence in his own ability means he refuses to feel unsettled.

“Not one bit,” he said. “I know what I am capable of. It is about what you do on the pitch, not how much you cost.

“I will just keep doing what I am doing and we will see what it says at the end of the season.”

Roberts remains in regular contact with the staff at City, who are keeping a close eye on his performances with Celtic.

The defending champions are runaway leaders at the top of the Scottish Premiership once more and the England Under-20 international believes the level of expectation in Glasgow will serve him well ahead of his return south of the border.

“Celtic have high expectations,” he explained. “They have to be winning every game. Like City, they are a team everyone wants to beat. You have to have the mentality to overcome that.

“When teams try to stop you playing, you need a good mindset for how to break that down.

“That is the glory of going away to Celtic. They have high expectations and they want to win every game. It is the same here. That is the thinking behind going to Celtic.”

Roberts left the Etihad Stadium clutching Kelechi Iheanacho’s shirt – another exciting youngster and the scorer of City’s equaliser.

Having joined City from Fulham last season, he remains happy with his lot and optimistic over making the type of breakthrough Nigeria striker Iheanacho has enjoyed.

Asked whether he felt wanted at City, Roberts added: “Yes, of course. They wouldn’t have signed me otherwise.

“I joined Celtic to play on nights like [Tuesday]. I couldn’t be happier at the moment.”

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