Kelly Clark: City win is our reward for this season’s effort


Kelly Clark City win is our reward for this season’s effort

When it comes to the huddle, Celtic skipper Kelly Clark plays her cards close to her chest.

Normally confined to herself and the ten sets of eyes on her ahead of kick-off, Clark opened up on what she said to inspire the players to a rallying and emphatic 4-1 win over the 13-in-a-row champions.

Celtic had already taken three points off title-challengers Hibs this season, and they were about to take their first three off Glasgow City in over a decade.

"I don't like spilling what I've said in the huddle, but I said there's so much chat about it being, "City and Hibs, City and Hibs, City and Hibs," that I feel like people forgot we beat Hibs earlier this season, and every time we've played City in the league it's been close. I know the goal difference between us and Hibs is high, but if we win our game in hand the points will be the same.

"I don't want to say we've been disrespected, but I feel like we've not been given the level of respect our results deserve. We're miles ahead from previous years,” she began.

Her final words, alongside a season of unrelenting development and character building seen the Hoops charge to a historic victory as they inflicted the first SWPL1 defeat on City since June 2016. While she knew exactly what to say before a ball was kicked, Clark confessed she couldn’t really find the words afterwards to sum it up.

"To be honest, it's probably still too close to the game, but we talk about that mental hurdle we've fallen to a couple of times and we've overcome it today.

"Everyone gave absolutely everything. People were saying they were tired during the game, but we just wanted to go on and we've been rewarded.

"I think I speak for everyone when I say when the fourth went in, there was just this sense of achievement. City have ran away with the League, but to have taken points off City and Hibs, mentally is massive for us,” she told.

Celtic’s victory closely followed City’s hard fought last 16 win on Thursday night after a gruelling second leg was taken to penalties. But despite that, the captain points to their domestic form over recent years that remained unblemished despite a hectic schedule, and dubbed her teammates “the better side on the day.”

She said: "We knew it was good time to play them. They played 120 minutes during the week against difficult opponents in the Champions League, but we've stepped up.

"In the first half especially, we really took it to them. They'll have expected it to be a tough game but they maybe just didn't start as fast as we did. We went in 2-0 up at half time and we kept it solid at the back.

"They've had a difficult week but they're in the situation almost every year and they still grind out results and haven't lost for over three years because they're a group of winners, they have the quality there.

"If we didn't perform to the level we did today they could have still easily taken the points. Today we were the better team. We took our chances when we got them and that's football. You need to take it when it comes.

“There’s two games to go and we can finish on 49 points, which was our aim at the start of the week - and that’s still on track after today,” she concluded.

Celtic play Spartans on Sunday 10 November at Ainslie Park in the SWPL1. Kick-off 1pm.

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