Spartans boss Debbi McCulloch discusses new year ambitions, transfer plan and player who is like a “new signing”

As 2023 begins Spartans manager Debbi McCulloch is reaffirming her ambition to get the club into the SWPL top six before the split and insists that she is happy with the current squad.
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The Edinburgh side returned to action on Sunday for the first time since the winter break as they were knocked out of the Scottish Cup by rivals Hibs. With league action returning this week, McCulloch highlights the club’s desire to push up the table before the league split in March. Spartans currently sit eighth in the table, three points behind Partick Thistle in sixth with a game in hand.

“Our goal has not shifted, we want to be in the top six come March”, McCulloch told the Edinburgh Evening News. “I don’t think we could have performed as best as we could of within the league in the first round of fixtures. We have to look to change that and cement our position in the league in the top six and see where that takes us. However, if we are in the bottom six it is still going to be extremely competitive but where we want to be is in the top half and that continues to be our main goal this year.”

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Despite many teams across the SWPL1 looking to reenforce their squads ready for the second half of the campaign, transfers are not at the forefront of McCulloch’s mind this month. The manager believes there is more to come from the current group of players. However, she has not ruled out potential signings if ‘a new opportunity arises’.

Debbi McCulloch's side will face Hibs once again later this month in the league. Picture: Mark BrownDebbi McCulloch's side will face Hibs once again later this month in the league. Picture: Mark Brown
Debbi McCulloch's side will face Hibs once again later this month in the league. Picture: Mark Brown

“We have a squad of 24 players, and we have been fortunate that we have not picked up any serious injuries,” she stated. “The only serious injury we have had is Caley Gibb from last season and she’s back on the pitch and training well. That’s like a new signing for us.

“We trust the players and the squad that we have, however we are always on the lookout for new opportunities. We will continue to do that whether that is this transfer window or the next one preparing for next season and extending the contracts of our current players. We are always looking ahead but I wouldn’t say it’s at the forefront of my mind.

“There is a couple of areas we would like to develop but we have strength all over the pitch in all positions, with great competition for those places. Even though our form isn’t what I would like it to do, I still believe I can get more out of the current squad, and I am committed to making them the best that they can be.”

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Spartans had a mixed run of form before the break, only winning one of their last five in the league. However, they are currently unbeaten in their last two games. On Wednesday night they will welcome top of the league Glasgow City to the Ainslie Park in what will be an extremely tough game for the hosts as they look to take advantage of their game in hand.