Hibs Ladies depleted for new boss’ first game

Chris Roberts, centre, with club coach coordinator Alfie Smith and first team assistant coach Claire Ditchburn

Chris Roberts, centre, with club coach coordinator Alfie Smith and first team assistant coach Claire Ditchburn

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New Hibs Ladies manager Chris Roberts admits his team’s preparations ahead of the second half of the campaign have been far from ideal.

The Scottish Women’s Premier League season resumes tomorrow after a short mid-term break, with depleted Hibs facing high-flying Rangers at Petershill Park, Glasgow (kick-off 2pm).

Ahead of his first game in charge since succeeding Willie Kirk as boss, Roberts said: “I’m excited for tomorrow but not an awful lot has changed for me because I was involved in everything when Willie was in charge and I led most of the training sessions.

“There hasn’t been any drastic changes. It will hopefully be a seamless transition for the players, as we will still train and prepare in the same way, so they shouldn’t really notice a difference. It’s really a case of everyone getting back to work and working hard so that we can gather as many points as possible and finish as high up the table as we can. Rangers have been on a high following an impressive first half to their campaign and they beat us comprehensively earlier on in the season. They will be very tough opponents because they have a terrific blend of youth and experience.

“Unfortunately circumstances mean that we will go into the game without as many as ten players, which certainly adds pressure. We’ve had so many players missing that we haven’t had sufficient numbers to play any warm-up games, however I would’ve been more concerned had this been the case during pre-season.

“The rest and recuperation has been good for our squad and we’re confident that we will compete tomorrow. We are preparing a gameplan to hopefully get three points.”

In the weekend’s other fixtures, Spartans host Glasgow City at Ainslie Park (kick-off 3pm) while Hutchison Vale face Buchan at Saughton Enclosure (1pm).

Meanwhile, Hibs’ Kirsty Smith and Spartans duo Kerry Montgomery and Rachel Harrison are among five uncapped players named in the Scotland squad yesterday for the friendly with Wales next month.