Hibs v Spartans: Top six in our hands and achievable, insists Debbi McCulloch

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Spartans face Hibs for the second time this month this weekend, with manager Debbi McCulloch seeking revenge for this month’s Scottish Cup defeat.

The Edinburgh side have had a tricky start to 2023. losing three games on the bounce. A 3-0 defeat by Hibs at Meadowbank in the Scottish Cup started this run at the start of the month. As they prepare to meet again, McCulloch wants her side to get revenge, get their season back on track and finish inside the top six before the split.

“Top six is still in our hands, I think we can still do it”, she told the Edinburgh Evening News. “We need to put points on the board. That has to start against Hibs on Sunday, just like any other game we want to win. We will believe that we can win it. I don’t think the gap to the top six is unachievable. That’s what we will focus on.

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“We want to put in a good performance. We felt last time we played Hibs we were the better team for the first 25 minutes and we performed well. Maybe without the end product, but we have to do that for the whole 90 minutes and that’s what we will be focusing on.”

Debbi McCulloh's side currently sit eighth in the SWPL1. Picture: Mark BrownDebbi McCulloh's side currently sit eighth in the SWPL1. Picture: Mark Brown
Debbi McCulloh's side currently sit eighth in the SWPL1. Picture: Mark Brown

Spartans’ start to 2023 in the league will not be to the envy of any of the SWPL1 teams with the north Edinburgh side suffering 4-0 and 3-0 defeats to Glasgow City and Partick Thistle respectively.

“We have had a tough start since the new year,” added McCulloch. “Other clubs had the luxury of having easier Scottish Cup fixtures compared to us. We are in control of turning that around. I have a really honest group of staff and players and we can talk to each other sensibly and reflect to ensure we improve going forward.

“It’s football. Sometimes runs like this happen and then you win a game and everything changes. Its very psychologic. We need to make sure we prepare ourselves and we are in the right mindset. We have a structured game plan against Hibs so the players can go out and execute it in confidence.”