Celtic Women boss Fran Alonso admitted the midweek win over Old Firm rivals Rangers was fuelled by his team’s desire to prove to people wrong in this season’s SWPL title race.
While the Hoops still remain five points adrift of table topping Glasgow City, Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Rangers put his side just two points behind their nearest rivals ahead of a trip to Hibs Women this weekend, and the 52-year-old head coach admits he is happy to continue to see his side being written off as potential title winners.
“Every time I hear it is a two horse race, I love it. It gives a fire to the players. They want to prove people wrong. You can see the fire in them, and I love it for that reason.
"It's a long competition, there are so many good teams.
"Hibs lose two games and people say they are out of it (the title race), they are a good team, they could still win the league, mathematically.
"It's not a two horse race, it's still so early - it's an eight team race and at the end of the race, we will see. For me, the only important thing is the next three points, how we are performing. The desire we show and the hunger to go and beat another very good opponent (Hibs) on Sunday.
"I know if you when you do the things that we are doing so well, then by product is normally winning.
"I have belief in my players, but we came from grassroots, from part time to full time. This is about long term success. This project takes time.
"Are we good enough to fight for the league? Of course we are. But we are coming up against very good sides, one that is very experienced and are used to winning, and another that has signed some of the best players in the country, play good football and are well coached. I don't talk about titles and qualifying for the champions league - I just talk about the next three points.”
And while the Celtic boss would not be drawn into discussions on the title race, there was no doubt that he was delighted with the side’s current form, and the club’s direction.
"We are a team with a clear identify. One of our biggest attributes is we are adjustable. We can control games without dominating possession. We controlled the most important metric, which is the scoreline and the most important thing.
"I am extremely proud of my team, the impact, the fight, the desire. It gives us confidence that even when we aren’t dominating games, we are still in the game. It's not about stamping my style on the team, it is our stamp, our style - as a manager I couldn’t be any happier."