Celtic v Rangers: SWPL title race hots up midweek with Old Firm clash

Rangers Women boss Malky Thomson calls for Gers stars to hold their nerve in Old Firm test as they look for another three points in their quest to dismantle Glasgow City’s 13-year reign of dominance.

Emma Brownlie and her Rangers team mates will be looking to make huge strides twowards a first SWPL title on Wednesday. Mark Scates/SNS

Rangers Women head coach Malky Thomson has hailed the importance of ‘emotional control’ as his side head to Celtic for a mammoth Old Firm clash in the Scottish Women’s Premier League (SWPL) this Wednesday night.

Thomson’s Rangers find themselves embroiled in the SWPL‘s most exciting title race in it’s 19 year history ahead of their game at Parkhead, as the Gers look to dismantle Glasgow City’s 13-year reign of dominance of Scottish women’s football and win their first SWPL title to cap their first year as a professional club.

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However, that title race could to blow open this Wednesday night, as the top four get set to face each other in a hugely significant week for each club’s season.

Second placed Rangers, currently level on points and goal difference with table toppers Glasgow City, head to Parkhead knowing three points would send out another warning sign to reigning champions Glasgow City, who face a tricky midweek clash away to Dean Gordon’s fourth placed Hibs.

And Thomson admits he will be looking to his in form side to continue to hold their nerve.

Emotional control

"We’ve worked on emotional control as a big, full time professional football club. That emotional control is something we’ve seen evidence of in training and in the games that we have played up to today.

"We’re confident we can handle the occasion – hopefully that allows us to get into our rhythm and play the style of football we want to play” said the 52-year-old Blue Belles head coach.

And after dispatching both Hearts and Spartans by comprehensive margins in the weeks prior, Thomson believes Sunday’s narrow victory 1-0 over Hibs at the Rangers Training Centre – their seventh win in a row – was exactly what his side needed as they head into their biggest game of the season so far.

"The key thing is winning. It’s irrelevant how you do. It’s just about getting the win.

"You take the positives out of each display, and I think there was many positives in our performance – none more so than the experience the girls would have taken from holding onto that 1-0 lead. It’s gets their concentration levels tested a bit, any lapse in concentration could have given Hibernian an opportunity.

"It’s our first year coming together as professional team and as a group, and that test was a bit different for us. Hibs have some good players, they made it difficult for us to try and break them down.”

Captain’s fitness

The head coach was boosted by news that his captain Brianna Westrup will be able to take part in the game too, despite taking a heavy blow to the head in Sunday’s win.

"She’s a very strong individual. She has a strong pain threshold.

"I have to say out medical staff were fantastic when they came on the park. They assessed her straight away and it was clear she had received no concussion, so I’m really pleased for Brianna and things are well.”

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