Aberdeen Women co-boss Gavin Beith has hailed his players’ performances and belief after securing back-to-back wins in the league and cup.
With only 48 hours between both away games, the Dons beat Hearts in SWPL 1 and Glasgow Women in the Scottish Cup to secure consecutive wins for the first time since September.
Aberdeen scored four goals in both games, and while they conceded two in the cup clash, there have definitely been signs of progress on the pitch.
Co-manager Beith believes that the wins have proven the standard his players can perform at and is feeling positive after two good results.
He said: “I think the girls know the ability that we have and the standards we’re wanting to try and get to. I think over previous weeks and months we probably never really got there.
“In the last couple of games, the performances have been good and the standard has been set high.
“The belief and the confidence that the players expressed was excellent.
“It’s massive for the players to get back-to-back wins and score eight goals. It’s nice to see everyone enjoy it, and it’s very welcomed too.”
2⃣ wins in 2⃣ days!
🔴 Match report and reaction from this evening's victory in the Scottish Cup // https://t.co/7hMy8aLTmw
— Aberdeen FC Women (@AberdeenWomen) January 25, 2022
And while good performances have been key, there has been a clear improvement in the Dons’ game management and mindset.
This season the Dons have lost nine points from a winning position in SWPL 1, or conceded a flurry of goals and struggled to get back into games after going behind.
However, at Hearts, Aberdeen remained disciplined and kept a clean sheet, while they only took four minutes to come back from 1-0 down at Glasgow Women and prevail as the third-round winners.
The co-manager knows the psychological aspect of the game is everchanging and can depend what plays out over the 90 minutes, but feels his players are starting to approach games with a better attitude.
“It’s when your backs are against the wall you see that fear mindset and that’s something we’ve talked to the girls about is just go and play and express yourself,” Beith added.
“They’re a young group of players so they shouldn’t be scared to do things – if they don’t work, they don’t work.
“We have seen them to do that over the last couple of games where they have gone out and played some good football.”
Goal scoring squad depth
Aberdeen have scored ten goals in their last three games with Bayley Hutchison (4), Francesca Ogilvie (4), Eilidh Shore and Chloe Gover all on the scoresheet.
For a team who experienced a four game goal drought earlier in the season, the Dons have clearly found their feet in front of goal, and co-boss Beith thinks that such a run of form will aided by the addition of experienced forward Hannah Stewart.
Stewart signed for the Dons earlier this month, having previously turned out for Forfar Farmington and Glasgow City.
She came off the bench against both Hearts and Glasgow Women, and Beith thinks the striker will be a player to watch.
“I think she could be a huge signing – I really do,” Beith said.
“She’s different from what we’ve got, she likes to come in and hold the ball up. She’s good with her back to goal and links the play really well.
“A lot of the other players that we have tend to like to run in behind and be more dynamic, whereas Hannah still moves but is great at coming in and linking that play.”
The striker has suffered injury setbacks, but is working towards earning her place in the starting XI.
Beith added: “I think she can be great so it’s good to get her in the last couple games and get some minutes, but she’s still got a long way to go in terms of fitness.
“Hannah’s missed a lot of football, but she’s looking sharp considering how much she’s been out.
“If we can keep her fit, then she’s going to be a real big asset going into the second half of the season.”