Aberdeen Women host Partick Thistle at Balmoral Stadium on Sunday in a must-win game for both SWPL 1 sides, but co-boss Emma Hunter insists her side will not succumb to the pressure.
The Dons hold bragging rights over Partick after beating them 2-0 earlier in the season, but Hunter knows not to rely on history too much with the Jags currently sitting above Aberdeen in the table – but by only one point.
With both sides in desperate need of points to regain some momentum in SWPL 1, the occasion might feel more tense than the average league game.
🔴 We are back at home for the final time in 2021 as we host Partick Thistle this Sunday, with the game being shown live on @bbcalba.
⌚️ Kick off, 4.10pm.
🙌🏼 We hope to see as many of you as possible there!
— Aberdeen FC Women (@AberdeenWomen) November 23, 2021
Hunter said: “Having the game at home and on BBC Alba, it’s a massive incentive for everyone and I think it will be a really enjoyable game. It’s so important for both sides – it will almost feel like a cup final.
“You have to be careful that you don’t over exaggerate the game and put too much pressures on the players. We know there are a couple of games coming up now, so it’s about making sure they’ve got that confidence.
“We’ve had a run of really tough games, so now it’s an opportunity for us to try and control the tempo a little bit and remind them how successful they’ve been at doing that.
“We’ll be in the right mindset to find a way to win and against Partick Thistle it’s often what we’ve had to do, because of their style. They like to frustrate you, can be quite physical and have a lot of players that could be a big threat.
“We have to make sure we are up for it, take our chances and ready to defend a lot stronger than we have done recently, but we know that we have that in our locker.”
Familiar opposition in a familiar situation
Like Aberdeen, the Jags will be looking to pick up points against the teams in and around them in the league, with those games being more of a level playing field than fixtures against the professional sides.
Since their defeat to the Dons, Partick have pulled off decent results with wins against Hibs and Motherwell, and draws against Hamilton and Spartans.
But Hunter believes that Aberdeen and Partick will approach the game in a similar must-win manner, as both clubs look to climb up the SWPL 1 table.
— Park’s Motor Group SWPL (@SWPL) November 21, 2021
She said: “The Partick game is massive. It’s not just massive for Aberdeen, but it’s massive for the opposition as well.
“It’s what makes it an interesting league – the pressure we feel is the same for Partick, because they need this victory as well.
“SWPL 1 is so close with who’s in and about us and a win against Partick Thistle can put us right into the top six again, so that’s how close it is. It’s a massively important game.”
“We’ve faced them so many times now so we know what to expect. We’ve played them in SWPL 2 and now SWPL 1, so we know their strengths and their weaknesses, but equally they’ll think the same about us.”
The SWPL 1 fixture between Aberdeen Women and Partick Thistle kicks off at 4.10pm at Balmoral Stadium. Entry is £5 for adults with under-16s getting in for free.