Patrick Roberts said he has no regrets about joining Celtic on loan through outstanding performance in the 1-1 draw in the Champions League with his parent club Manchester city and is determined to show that he’s capable of starring for PEP Guardiola’s side.
England youth international, who moved to the city from Fulham in July 2015 for an undisclosed sum, is thought to be approximately £11 million, was only allowed to play at Etihad stadium because of his father, Neil, he insisted, should be allowed to play if the two clubs were drawn against each other. That turned out to Celtic as a 19-year-old scored a brilliant individual goal in the fourth minute which was cancelled out by Caleb Iheanacho.
Goal by Patrick Roberts earns Celtic a draw in the stubby Manchester city
Roberts asked if he feels that he can influence the city when his 18-month loan expires. “I always believe in themselves and their abilities, and show it when I get the chance,” he said. “I want to finish the season with Celtic and see where it goes from there. I know I’m capable of. It’s about what you do on the field, not how much you’re worth”.
Signed with AFC Wimbledon at the age of 13 years, Roberts has starred in the youth side Fulham and was a regular for England at every age group from under-16s. Despite the fact that three games for the city, which included four minutes of Premier League debut in the 4-1 defeat of Tottenham in September 2015, Tuesday night was the first time he played at the Etihad stadium, but it will not take much time for him to feel at home. His performance certainly caught the eye of Guardiola, who saw his young side struggle to break down a stubborn Celtic defense at the end of their second draw against the Scottish Champions in the group stage. “He just said, well done and keep it up. It was great,” said Roberts. “[The city in contact with me all the time. They call me, text me. I saw someone yesterday and they sat with me for a while. Someone comes to see me play. I support all the time. They were great with me while I was away.
“I am sure that the Manager gets the reports. Matches on TV. It’s a luxury to be in a club like Celtic. Games are always on TV, so you know people can watch”.
After six goals in 11 SLOTS performances last season, Roberts was used sparingly in the League Brendan Rodgers, but has made nine Champions League matches this season after Celtic came through two qualifying rounds. He believes the experience and such tactics of Rodgers and Guardiola will stand him in good stead.
“The Manager has indicated that he wants from the team. Every game he wants us to press high and win the ball as quickly as possible, to counter-attack and be very positive in the final third,” said Roberts. “Sometimes we were this season and it showed in some performances. We scored a lot of goals and we’ve collected some good games against teams like Barcelona and Borussia mönchengladbach.
“Celtic have high expectations,” he added. “They have to win every match. As city are the team everyone wants to win. You must have the mentality to overcome it. When teams try to stop you to play, you need a good attitude in order to destroy it. Here the glory goes to Celtic. They have high expectations, and they want to win every game”.