Janine Beckie was not one to downplay Manchester City’s achievements after their 11-1 aggregate triumph over Lugano in the Women’s Champions League - she is convinced they have what it takes to win the competition.
Nick Cushing’s side sailed into the last 16 with a resounding victory over FF Lugano, courtesy of 7-1 and 4-0 victories in both legs.
Beckie, who scored a late goal in the first leg, stole the show at the Academy Stadium on Saturday by hitting a hat-trick and the Canadian striker is confident her team’s dominant performance proves they are capable of lifting their first-ever European trophy this season.
“The difference this season is the willingness to put in the work and we are hard to break down,” said Beckie.
“We will have to play at the top of our game but it’s doable.
“It would have been difficult for Lugano to get back into the game, so we were confident, but we wanted to put in a confident performance.
“You’ve got to beat everyone to win. You want to play in the big games, but we don’t think anyone can beat us.”
Many were doubting whether Manchester City would have enough firepower to succeed in the early stages of this season after star striker Nikita Parris departed for Lyon while injured England trio Ellen White, Georgia Stanway and Lauren Hemp are still absent.
But contrary to expectation, Cushing is not scrapping around for options, but rather has a selection headache - Beckie being one of many who has risen to the challenge.
With Pauline Bremer having already scored six and Caroline Weir having proved her goal-scoring capabilities too, the former NWSL player knew she had to deliver.
“I’d missed a few chances in my last few games and you’re at the point that it’s just known that I had to start scoring,” added Beckie.
“I think I score a lot of goals getting in behind as that’s my game but my second and third were just about the hunger to get into the box.
“The pressure was what I put on myself. I’m surrounded by amazing players and those players who are out are huge losses for us.
“Pauline has been on fire and has a knack for goals, Caroline Weir is so important and has been the best player for us this season.
“It’s awesome to be in that group of players so when I come off the pitch, having done that, it’s great. It makes Nick’s decision harder but it’s a decision he wants to have.”