'We dared to be different': Hibs boss hits back at negative Capital Cup comments and outlines Champions League plan
Hibs manager Dean Gibson has hit back at negative social media comments following the Edinburgh derby Capital Cup fixture, backing both clubs for “daring to be different”.
A record crowd of 8,066 was at Easter Road on Sunday to witness Hibs overcome Hearts on penalties to lift the first edition of the Capital Cup after the SWPL league game ended 1-1. Following some negative comments about the format on social media. Gibson took to Twitter to voice his displeasure and defend the Edinburgh clubs.
“Disappointing to see so many people who are meant to support the women’s game have so many negative comments on the fixture”, he stated. “We again in Edinburgh broke the record attendance. The atmosphere was nothing like I’ve heard before at a women’s fixture.
“I understand completely people being confused by the penalty shoot out. Both clubs and the league agreed to the format, both clubs knew what the outcome would be if it was a draw. Women’s football tried something different and caught the imagination of over 8,000 people. It added an extra edge to an already competitive fixture. We dared to be different & in doing so, broke the attendance again.”
The progress the women’s game is making in Scotland was underlined by the attendance smashing the previously set 5,512 in last year’s derby. Gibson now wants to see continued progress on the pitch from his team as he challenges them to “disrupt” the top three and compete for a Champions League position again in the future. His are currently sixth in the table, four points behind Hearts and one goal behind fifth-placed Partick Thistle after 11 games. Spartans are three points further back in eigth.
“My aim is to turn us back into a top four team”, he told Edinburgh Evening News. “I don’t mean that by finishing fourth in the league, what I mean was if we turn ourselves into a top-four team we will be really competing for the Champions League. Finishing fourth but 25 points behind, that’s not good enough, or getting to cup finals. If you look at the past two seasons it’s been Rangers, City or Celtic winning the league and the two cups. Glasgow City and Rangers got to the Champions League. The only success has come from them three.
“What I want to do this year is disrupt that and we have done that so far by beating Glasgow City in the semi-final. It shows we have sort of added a fourth club to that. Hearts maybe feel from their league form that they have added a fifth club to that. If you look back to the start of the season people probably thought the top six is going to be City, Celtic, Rangers, Hibs and the rest will fight. The is no guarantee you’ll be in that because the league is so competitive, we have got to continue to push. I am not focusing on City, Celtic, Rangers, I am focusing on trying to catch Hearts above us as well as trying to pull away from the teams below.”