Emma Hunter says Aberdeen FC Women are ready for a defining week in their pursuit of the SWPL 2 title.
The Dons have a six-point advantage at the top of the table with only five games remaining but face all three of their closest challengers in the coming week.
Hunter’s side welcome third-placed Hamilton Accies to Cormack Park tomorrow before fourth-placed Partick Thistle make the trip north on Thursday night.
That is followed by an away match against second-placed Dundee United on Sunday in a pivotal stretch of games for the in-form Dons.
The Reds have won three games out of three since SWPL 2 resumed earlier this month with victories against Stirling University and Queen’s Park followed by a 3-1 success at St Johnstone on Wednesday.
Boss Hunter admits it will be a tough week for her side but believes they are heading into Sunday’s game with confidence.
— Scottish Building Society SWPL (@SWPL) June 16, 2021
She said: “It is a defining week for everyone involved in the promotion race.
“This is probably going to be the most exciting week of football in SWPL 2.
“We are coming up against teams who are battling to finish first and second and we have to make sure we rise to the occasion.
“These teams are going to be fighting hard but we are at home on Sunday and I think that gives us an advantage as we are unbeaten at home so far.
“It is exciting and a little bit nerve-wracking, especially as we are such a young team.
“The players have handled that pressure really well so far and managed to grind out results in difficult games.
“I’m looking for the same again in the next few games.”
— Scottish Building Society SWPL (@SWPL) June 17, 2021
Francesca Ogilvie has been in excellent form for Aberdeen since play resumed with six goals in three games but Hunter was also keen to praise the resolute displays of the Dons defence.
She said: “It has been difficult since we came back from the break and I don’t think we are as sharp as we want to be.
“We have started games slowly which is down to rustiness and the emotional side of the game as we are near the finishing line.
“We have got players who have really stepped up, such as Francesca, who is scoring a lot of goals.
“But the other part that probably doesn’t get spoken about enough is how good we have been defensively.
“We have only conceded one goal since we returned and our goal difference is probably earning us an extra point at the top.”
Aberdeen defeated Hamilton 1-0 when the sides met in November and Hunter expects another close contest.
She added: “It was really tough and we probably didn’t play to our best.
“I expect a different team as they have signed a couple of players. They have (former Celtic forward) Josephine Giard in attack.
“They have taken in Kathleen McGovern from Celtic and Kirstie McIntosh has come back from Hearts.
“They have definitely strengthened and they have a point to prove.
“We just have to be calm and composed on the ball and make sure the occasion doesn’t get to us.”