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Emma Hunter: Aberdeen Women aiming to build up confidence with a win against Partick Thistle

Aberdeen Women co-manager Emma Hunter.
Aberdeen Women co-manager Emma Hunter.

Aberdeen Women co-manager Emma Hunter is hoping a win against Partick Thistle will instil confidence in her side ahead of an important month.

The Dons travel to the Jags this afternoon in what is the second clash between the two sides in SWPL 1 this season.

Hunter’s side go in to the game off the back of two defeats against professional sides Glasgow City and Celtic, and will be looking to return to winning ways against Partick.

A victory would come would bring about much-needed confidence ahead of an important month.

Following Partick Thistle, Aberdeen will come up against basement side Hamilton before welcoming league favourites Rangers in their homecoming match at Pittodrie.

Co-boss Hunter reckons confidence is key to her squad, with a win against Partick an opportunity to harbor even more self-belief – but she knows a challenge will await them at Petershill Park.

She said: “We’re going to have to be at our best against Partick Thistle, but both teams will have the same opinion and want to get the points off of each other.

“It’ll be a really close game and we need to go in confidence.

“When we play with confidence, we play with no pressure and play some great football.

“That’s what we need to aim for, so that puts us in good stead for our homecoming match.

“People are speaking about the Rangers game now, but we’re trying not to think too far ahead.

“But it’s important that we try and do the best we can against Rangers. They’re the top team in Scotland at the moment.

“If we can get some good victories before that and build up some confidence, it will mean so much to the squad.”

A clash against familiar opposition

Aberdeen have already beaten Partick this season away from home, with their second game in SWPL 1 this season being a 2-0 win against Brian Graham’s side.

The two teams are more than familiar with each other having both been promoted from SWPL 2 last year.

And while Aberdeen will try and use that as advantage, Hunter admits the Jags are now a better side than they have faced before.

She added: “Out of all the occasions we’ve played them we’ve only lost once, but they never make a game easy for us.

“They have always been a really tough team to play against, and have strengthened their squad since being in SWPL 1.

“Brian Graham has had a lot more time with them and is implementing a lot of things to make them a better team.

“They’ve recently signed Rachel Donaldson who’s come from Celtic, and Clare Docherty is a quality player we’ve faced before – she can be a menace up top and create chances and score goals.”

Clashes between the sides outside the top four often feel like ‘cup finals’, as Aberdeen must pick up points against teams like Partick Thistle if they’re to finish in a good SWPL 1 league position.

“The teams around the middle of the league are all so close to each other, and the points make a massive difference where you can move in the table,” Hunter explained.

“We’ve treated each round of three games against each team like a mini tournament.

“For example, against Motherwell we’ve got three points each – the next game is the decider.

“It’ll be the same approach against Partick Thistle, we want to make sure we pick up those three points.”

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