Man City’s Jill Roord says ‘everything is possible’ in WSL title race

19 December 2023 0 By Total Football News
Manchester City players celebrateManchester City last won the Women's Super League title in 2016 before finishing runners-up for four seasons in a row

Manchester City midfielder Jill Roord says "everything is possible" in the Women's Super League title race after ending the year with victory over Everton.

It leaves City second in the table, three points behind leaders Chelsea after 10 matches in a 22-game season.

City finished fourth on goal difference last season as Chelsea wrapped up a fourth successive WSL title.

"I personally don't like to look at the other teams," said Roord.

"I think we need to look at our own games. We have some time off which is good for everybody. We are in a very good place."

All eyes were on Arsenal following their impressive victory against Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium but they were stunned by rivals Tottenham on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Chelsea followed defeat by Arsenal with a draw in the Champions League before victory against second-bottom Bristol City.

Asked if City were going under the radar after early defeats by Brighton and Arsenal led to them slipping from the top of the table, Roord said she felt "fine" if people write them off.

"I don't really look at what other people are saying. If they see us as the underdog I'm fine with that," added Roord.

"We can just focus on ourselves. [Victory over Everton means] we are in a really good position and everything is possible for the second half of the season.

"As players you want to win titles or cups, especially in this club. It's not that easy in England as there are many good teams but I think we have the qualities to make that happen."

'It's not just Arsenal, City and Chelsea going for title'

Jill Roord playing against Manchester UnitedManchester City signed Jill Roord for a club record fee and she was their only signing this summer

Former Arsenal midfielder Roord joined Manchester City in the summer and has hit the ground running in the first half of the season.

The Netherlands international has six goals and two assists in 10 WSL appearances, contributing in vital wins against Manchester United and Leicester City.

"I'm very happy here and I've enjoyed being at Manchester City with the way we play, the league and the teams we play. It's gone OK so far," said Roord.

"Obviously there are always things to improve on. I think I've settled quite well and it didn't take me super long to play my own game.

"Women's football in general has developed so much [since I was last in the WSL]. It's not just Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City fighting for the title, and almost every week you have tough games. It wasn't always like that."

While winning the WSL title is the ultimate aim, Norway international Julie Blakstad said qualifying for the Women's Champions League is important having missed out on goal difference last season.

Results this weekend leave fourth-placed Manchester United four points behind City and Arsenal, who are currently occupying the European qualification spots alongside Chelsea.

"We want to compete to win titles, especially for a club like Manchester City, and being in the Champions League is something we want to compete for too," said Blakstad.

"At the same time, there's a lot of good clubs in the league and the competition is hard. Everyone can beat everyone so you have to be sharp every single game and that should be the focus each time."

Jamaican restaurants and a 'relaxed' atmosphere

Chloe Kelly and Khadija ShawKhadija Shaw (right) has six goals and two assists so far in the WSL this season

City are yet to win the WSL under manager Gareth Taylor, who took over in 2020, but Jamaica striker Khadija Shaw feels their style of play is good enough to achieve it.

Shaw joined the club in 2021 and was their top scorer last season, narrowly missing out on the Golden Boot having scored 20 goals, two shy of Aston Villa's Rachel Daly.

"Even before I decided I wanted to join Manchester City, I just loved the way they played and how they kept the ball," said Shaw.

"I've always been a physical player but I wanted to be involved in the style and challenge myself [technically]. Since I came here, I have seen my game develop and I have got better.

"Outside of football, I have family here in Manchester and everyone at the club has made me feel welcome. I think that's just as important to me as [things] on the pitch."

Shaw's enjoyed life in Manchester so far and says team-mate Chloe Kelly has played a key part in helping her settle.

"Sometimes you tend to focus solely on what happens on the pitch, but I think if you don't have that relationship off the pitch, or know the type of person you are playing with, then it becomes difficult on the pitch," added Shaw.

"Chloe showed me around town, took me to the Jamaican restaurants so we could sit down and have that time to get to know each other. I think by doing that, the communication and the vibe is different. It's more relaxed.

"Just having that relationship off the pitch definitely helps. I've also always been fortunate to have world-class players around me who help me look better on it."

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