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SWPL Cup: Alonso calling on Celts to be clinical

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Fran Alonso

Manager Fran Alonso acknowledged that his side created a host of chances in last Sunday’s SWPL Cup group opener against Glasgow Women, but has called on them to be more clinical as they head to St Johnstone on Sunday.

The Hoops drew 0-0 in their first Group A match, and despite the disappointing result, he is keen for them to look ahead and deliver the perfect response with three points.

“We had an extensive analysis meeting, and to be fair, the stats were very, very good,” he began.

“We had 25 chances and only conceded one chance. We had over 68% possession and the worst pass completion was 78%, so we cannot be too tough on ourselves. Of course we are disappointed but we have to give credit to a very organised opposition, so we focus this week on ourselves and how to take chances in the good areas. We must be scoring from these chances.”

The draw in tough conditions followed a strong preseason effort in Alonso’s first three weeks as Celtic manager, and he is confident that they are back on track.

“We’ve seen plenty of goals at training and the girls have already forgotten about the previous game. We learn from it but focus on St Johnstone now.

“We haven’t conceded a goal for the last three games which is very positive, and we’ve scored 11 goals in the two games before Sunday, so it’s not bad, but we want to keep improving,” he said.

Celtic travel to Perth having beaten them 2-0 in last season’s Scottish Cup, and the manager is expecting another tough challenge as they head to the SWPL2 side.

“I know St Johnstone will be very compact and difficult to break down and we are working on how we can hurt them and avoid them hurting us. Teams may not necessarily hurt us by attacked or pressing aggressively, but by being compact and well-organised. We have a plan A and if that doesn’t work we have our plan B, but we are determined to try to play well and win the game,” he said.

Celtic play St Johnstone in the second Group A game of the SWPL Cup on Sunday, February 16 at McDiarmid Park at 4pm.


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