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Determination was key says Alonso

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By Daylin Docherty

Celtic FC Women’s boss, Fran Alonso, praised his side’s hard work and determination in a hard fought win against Edinburgh side, Spartans, in the SWPL1.

The Hoops took all three points in their first home game since February, in which Sarah Ewens pounced on a mistake from the Spartans defender that ultimately was the difference between the sides.

Alonso thought the Celts were excellent in the first-half despite the final ball not always being there.

“Today was about getting the three points. It was a tough game, a very tough game, we knew that, we expected it,” he told the official club website.

“The question was whether we would be able to break them down and finally we did. I am delighted we got the three points. The girls deserve it. Our organisation was very good. The build up play in the first half was excellent. The only problem in the first half was our play wasn’t clinical enough and this caused us to panic a little bit. 

“We came from scoring ten goals the week before, so probably in the players’ mind they wanted to score goals and that made them panic.

“In the first-half, the bench was getting frustrated just as the players were. We worked a lot during the week doing rotation. That rotation during the game was working well - that is why we were getting into good positions but the final ball was letting us down,” he said.

The Celts and Spartans went in level at half-time and Alonso maintained his positivity and told the players that all they needed was belief after a good showing in the first-half. 

“At half-time, we got the players in and told them to believe. If we want to win, we keep patience and believe. We were doing exactly the right things, and Spartans were exactly how we anticipated. The goal doesn’t come from great play, however, it shows aggression in pressing the keeper.

“We want to score more goals, but we have a clean sheet so I am happy with that,” he said. 

Alonso pointed out experienced midfielder, Lisa Robertson, for an excellent showing against Spartans that gained her the player of the match award.

“I am happy with the whole team, great performance. In terms of work rate, they were outstanding. Lisa Robertson gave us this calmness in times where there was panic.

“She gives us composure. She was one of our top players today, definitely,” he said. 

The focus for the Ghirls now switches to the Glasgow Derby next Sunday. Rangers are undefeated in their opening three games and it will be Alonso’s first taste of the derby as Celtic manager. 

“The game obviously means a lot to the fans next week. We missed them today, hopefully they saw us on TV. It was a good day for Celtic, with the men’s team winning as well as us. If we manage to get something from the game or win it would be a big statement. 

“They are at home so they will have big pressure and we will try to take advantage of that. We will go and play our game and try to be aggressive,” he said.

 Celtic visit Rangers next Sunday at the Rangers Training Centre in a 3pm kick-off. 



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