Spartans Women’s boss Suzy Shepherd says she is hoping her players can inflict back-to-back defeats on Hibs Ladies for the first time this season when the two go head-to-head at Ainslie Park tomorrow.
The Hibees lost ground on top-of-the-table Glasgow City last weekend after a 4-0 defeat to Scott Booth’s side – their only other loss so far having come against City in May – while Spartans also suffered a 2-0 defeat at the expense of Celtic.
Spartans are sitting mid-table two points adrift of last weekend’s opponents and just a point better off than fifth-placed Rangers in what is becoming a real tussle for a top-three spot. But, despite acknowledging tomorrow will prove to be one of their toughest tests of the season, Shepherd insists they having nothing to fear against their Capital rivals.
“It’s a big game for us in terms of them being our local rivals and it’s a derby as well. We’re usually that wee bit more up for it, make no mistake about it,” Shepherd said. “It would be great if we could beat them but we are well aware of just how good a team Hibs are as they have a squad full of international players. Although they were beaten by Glasgow City last Sunday, I’m sure they’ll be hurting and will be out to try and prove a point tomorrow.”
Shepherd, though, is satisfied overall with the progress shown from her new-look squad.
“We’d won our last three league games (victories over Glasgow City, Rangers and Forfar) before the break so that kind of came at the wrong time for us,” she said. “It’s always hard coming back after the summer break having had players away on holiday and what have you as it kind of takes you a few weeks to get back into it. I think last weekend’s game was probably the right result. Celtic did edge it and deserved to win but we were disappointed as we did create some good chances. We’re just looking to finish the table as high as possible and take one game at a time.”
In SWPL 2, there is another Capital derby at Saughton as league leaders Hearts visit hosts Hutchison Vale.