Rangers boss remains defiant despite Celtic defeat handing Glasgow City SWPL advantage

Malky Thomson says it’s ‘far too early’ to see clear title winner, despite nightmare evening at Parkhead.

Rangers head coach Malky Thomson gives instructions during the 1-0 defeat at Celtic Park. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Rangers Women boss Malky Thomson refused to be downbeat despite seeing his side suffer a gut-wrenching Old Firm defeat to Celtic Women at Parkhead yesterday evening.

The result also handed 13-time reigning champions Glasgow City a three point lead at the top of the Scottish Women’s Premier League (SWPL) after they came from a goal behind to beat fourth placed Hibs Women at Ainslie Park.

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Despite a dominant Gers performance, a late strike from Celtic substitute Mariah Lee sealed a second Old Firm victory of the campaign for the Hoops, but the goal was just one of many blows that was delivered to Thomson’s side on a nightmare night for the Blue Belles.

The game saw free-scoring Rangers forward Kirsty Howat stretchered off on the 15 minute mark with a painful looking injury that required several minutes of treatment and could leave the Gers without the Dumfries-born forward for the foreseeable future.

“She’s obviously really disappointed, but the rest of the group have rallied around her, but I dare say she’ll be hurting underneath,” Thomson said.

"She is due a scan later on today and then we’ll have a clearer picture of the extent of the injury. She’s a dedicated professional.

"The impact the injury had in that moment on the rest of the team – they were quite shocked that it was so severe and, obviously, the pain that she was showing. It shook a few of the team in the moment there, but we got on with it.”

However, despite suffer numerous body blows throughout the evening, the 52-year old boss was in good spirits as he spoke to the media on Thursday afternoon.

"There’s a number of games to play and, as we spoke about in the past, there’s teams like Hibs and Spartans that play well. There’s a number of games to go before there’s a clear outline as to who is going to be lifting that trophy.”

On the game at Parkhead, Thomson added: "I think what is evident is that we gave a good account of ourselves and the way we approached the game, the way that we played the game and the way that we competed in the game was there for all to see. But, again, goals win games. We have to take ownership of that and the girls have taken full responsibility.

"We, as the coaching staff, have analysed it. The players have seen it on social media, and they all recorded it on BBC Alba.

"I felt we dictated the game. I don’t think we were really troubled and – barring the goal – I thought our defensive structure was good. We have spoke about the goal that we lost and, to be fair, we could have done better there.

"They’ll be no problem with confidence (going into Sunday’s game). There’s a good environment here, so we came in this morning, had a wee chat and got about our business with a smile on our face and get prepared for Sunday’s game (against Formar Farmington).”

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