Glasgow City FC trio Jo Love, Lee Alexander and Hayley Lauder tell UEFA.com that Sunday's visit of Paris Saint-Germain is "the biggest game in the club's history".
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Glasgow City FC have reached their first UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-final the hard way, losing the away leg before turning things around late on at home against both KKPK Medyk Konin and FC Zürich Fraue.
It does not get any easier because on Sunday they welcome Paris Saint-Germain to Airdrie, which for Jo Love – scorer of crucial goals in both rounds so far – is "the biggest game in the club's history". UEFA.com speaks to Love, goalkeeper Lee Alexander – who broke her collarbone against Zürich but is now fit – and new signing Hayley Lauder.
On the tie with Paris ...
Jo Love: It's massive.
I don't think there's been any more hype or any more preparation or anything else that we can really do to make this the biggest game in the club's history. We've got a lot to prove. The one that seems to come back and haunt us is the Potsdam game [which Glasgow lost 17-0 on aggregate in 2011/12]. So I feel, after that, people are expecting us to be the whipping boys when we get to the bigger stages in Europe, so we just want to go out and prove we're now up to that level and we're prepared to deal with the best of them.
Lee Alexander: It's a fantastic tie. Don't get me wrong, every single other team that's within the draw is a fantastic team, so it was really, really good to get drawn against Paris – they're a really, really good team. They're all professional, they've got money, a lot of internationals. Although it is their first time as well, getting to this kind of stage, they have put out Lyon, strong favourites as well, so we're not kidding ourselves that it's obviously going to be a very difficult game over two legs. So we're prepared for it, but we're really looking forward to it.
Hayley Lauder: Well obviously this is the biggest game in the club's history, getting so far in this tournament. We just want that to be a regular occurrence now – we've got this far, we've had a taste for it, so that's going to be our drive. And obviously we want to maintain our success in the league and the cup in Scotland as well. Hopefully it's another successful season.
On the new signings, including Lauder ...
Love: I feel the new signings have fitted in well. Of course, with the likes of Hayley coming on board, she's played professional for a while, and Rhonda [Jones] has been around the women's game in Scotland for X-amount of years now – I wouldn't like to say! They've been really good signings for us, and Megan [Cunningham] is a very good goalkeeper who's come in from the Under-19s and she's doing very well. I would just like to think they've added strength and depth to the squad – most of the core is actually of people who have been here a number of years.
Alexander: It's good: there's competition for places, it's really good in particular areas as well – attacking but also defensively we're shaping up really nicely for the main season.
I'd been playing abroad for three years and I was offered to come back and play professionally in Scotland and be at home – that was something I couldn't really refuse. And obviously with the big game coming up, it was something I really wanted to be involved in.
On the run so far ...
Love: [The second leg against Zürich] is one of the most dramatic games I have probably been involved in. It was a great experience and some night, but start the way we have done against the likes of Zürich – we've come back home knowing we had a job on our hands – and it's been very difficult. We can't afford to start like that against Paris; it will be all guns firing from the start.
Alexander: The really important thing is our team spirit, I think we're really together in the team, but I think what we felt over those two away games is that we let ourselves down, we didn't perform as well as we should have. I think we owed something to ourselves in the home games, and certainly for the crowd as well. They were fantastic on both occasions and they certainly played a huge, huge part.
Lee Alexander on breaking her collarbone against Zürich ...
Alexander: I actually stayed for the full game! I came off at half-time but wanted to stay and watch the full game – at that point we were 1-0 down and I just had this feeling we were going to do it, so I'm so happy I did manage to stay. It's probably one of the best games we've been part of, so it was fantastic to stay. I was probably just on adrenaline, I didn't quite feel it. Maybe at the end it started to kick in ...
I've been really fortunate, certainly with the timing of my injury and how well my rehab went. So it's great to get back, in terms of having a wee bit of time before the big games start to come upon us. It's good.