Aberdeen FC Women manager Emma Hunter says the champions want to round off their SWPL 2 campaign in style – starting with a victory over Glasgow Women on Thursday.
The Dons secured the league title with two games to spare after a devastating first-half display led to a 5-2 win at Dundee United on Sunday.
Now Hunter wants to see out the campaign like they have spent most of it: by winning.
First up is Glasgow Women at Cormack Park (7.30pm) before another home match, against Boroughmuir Thistle, on Sunday.
“(Winning the title) does take the pressure off,” said Hunter.
“We could take our foot off the gas but we all 100% still want to finish off the season by winning these last two games, it’s important to us as a group.
“So we’ll definitely be going out, like we did against Dundee United, to go for it and try to control the game and come away with a victory.
“With this group we’d be disappointed to be lifting the trophy without getting the wins. It’s important to us.”
Keep eye on the ball
Glasgow have not won a match since a 3-1 victory over St Johnstone on June 6, the date the league resumed.
Their latest game resulted in a 2-1 loss to bottom-of-the-table Stirling University, but Hunter has warned her players not to take Thursday’s opponents lightly.
She said: “I think Stirling, like a lot of teams close to the bottom, have pulled out a couple of good results recently.
“Look at Boroughmuir Thistle drawing 1-1 with Hamilton too, shows that there has been progression from some of the teams at the bottom.
Well done to @EmmaHunterAFC, the staff, @Kelly_Forrest14 and the rest of the team! It’s been a rewarding journey so far and no doubt some brilliant experiences to look forward to next season in SWPL1! 👏🏻🔴⚪️ https://t.co/jLtgeHW3mO
— Steven Gunn (@steven_gunn22) June 27, 2021
“So I don’t think it’s too much of a discredit to Glasgow as Stirling have actually done well recently.
“We need to respect them as opposition because we know it will be a tough game.
“Our advantage is that it’s a home game, midweek and we’ve just sealed the title so we’ll have a lot of confidence going into it.
“They’ll be disappointed with their results recently. They started well but in the latter stages of the season they’ve dropped off a bit.
“But I still expect them to come up here and give us a good game.
“They’ll also be wanting to finish off on a bit of a high so (Glasgow manager) Craig Joyce won’t let them just lay back and let us have the game.
“We need to be on our toes and make sure we’re ready.”
Indeed, the last time Aberdeen faced off with Glasgow a Bayley Hutchison strike won them all three points in Govan as the hosts missed a late penalty which would’ve earned them a draw.
Hunter is expecting another tough test against Joyce’s side on Thursday.
She said: “(The first game) against Glasgow was one of those were we weren’t really taking our chances, as we did have opportunities to close the game off.
#SBSSWPL | Here's the official @_ScottishBS SWPL 2 table ⬇@AberdeenFC are confirmed champions 🏆@ThistleWFC climb above @dundeeunitedWFC into third and 3⃣ teams can be promoted on the final day of the season 🤯
— Scottish Building Society SWPL (@SWPL) June 27, 2021
“But because we were away to them we expected a close game anyway. Especially when you’re playing on a different pitch that’s maybe a bit smaller than you’re used to.
“The type of game it was, as it wore on and we didn’t get that goal, it became more frantic. But that’s credit to Glasgow because they came out at us and made it difficult for us.
“So they’ll be challenging. Neither team has anything to play for now and that will play into how the game pans out but sometimes in football when there’s no pressure you see a more fluid game.”
Goalkeeper Anna Blanchard and defender Jenna Penman are both out but Hunter has skipper Kelly Forrest available again after suspension.
“It’s great to have the captain back,” Hunter added.
“She’s delighted to be back in the squad and I reckon she’ll have a bit of fire in her belly to make up for the game she missed against Dundee United.”
After Thursday’s match, the Dons finish their title-winning campaign by lifting the trophy at home to Boroughmuir Thistle.