Celtic boss Fran Alonso’s focus is on Thistle threat not thug’s non-apology

Celtic FC Women entertain sixth placed Partick Thistle at the Excelsior Stadium at 12.10pm today as Fran Alonso’s side look to add to the three victories over the visitors already gained this season and will also look to chip into Glasgow City’s eight-point lead at the top of the SWPL1 table.

Monday night’s dramatic Glasgow Derby saw a Caitlin Hayes 99th minute goal ensure Celtic gained a share of the spoils at Broadwood, and that Monday night fixture has interrupted Fran Alonso’s preparation for Sunday’s game but the Celtic boss, speaking to Celtic TV, believes the confidence is high in the camp after grabbing a draw at the death against third placed theRangers.

“Obviously we have had one less day preparation, and it has changed this week’s cycle a little bit. For example, one less full day’s training. So we haven’t been pushing them as we would do any normal week. But the spirits are high because of the result on Monday after grabbing such a late goal. We are ready for the game on Sunday. We knew we have 10 finals, and we have to take it one final at a time.”

Fran Alonso has had quite a week following the media coverage of theRangers thuggish assistant boss Craig McPherson’s assault on the Celtic head coach after the final whistle at Broadwood, but so far Alonso has kept a dignified silence on the matter, as his focus immediately shifted to Thistle on Sunday after the delight at a late leveller on Monday night had subsided.

“Right now, all our focus is on Partick Thistle,” he said. “They are a team who has done very well, and are currently in sixth place, which is incredible in only their second season in the top flight.

“We won’t underestimate them, and we know we have to be at our best. The girls are training very well, so I’m very positive about the game.”

It’s difficult to believe Celtic find themselves eight points off the top of the SWPL1 table at the moment when you consider the Hoops have conceded just five goals all season and have scored a remarkable 91 goals. And much of that consistent form has to be attributed to the team spirit and togetherness within Alonso’s camp, with the Celtic boss stating pride in the shirt is ‘non-negotiable’ under his watch, whilst taking time out to praise the backing his side gets from the incredible Celtic support who now follow his side both home and away in vocal numbers.

“The attitude and the pride in wearing the Hoops as a squad is something that is a non-negotiable. If you do not have this, you cannot play for this team. On top of that, we have our supporters. When things maybe don’t go the right way, they always lift us up and help us refocus.’ It’s a home game, so I’m sure it’s going to be a good crowd and hopefully we can give the fans a game to be proud of.”

Sunday’s game with Thistle kicks off at 12.10 pm – in an unfortunate clash with Ange Postecoglou’s men’s team playing in Dingwall – and tickets priced £8 for adults and £4 for concessions can be purchased here.

The Hoops are now eight points adrift of top of the table City but Celtic can cut that to five ahead of City’s trip to play Hearts – no easy task – with Fran Alonso’s side kicking off at 12.10pm, whilst City don’t start their game until 3pm, with third strugglers theRangers facing Hibs on BBC Alba with a 4.10pm start.

Eight points may be the gap but don’t believe for a minute this league title race is even close to being over, there will be more than a few twists and turns to come yet, with the top sides all playing each other over the course of the next few weeks and Celtic can lay out their intentions with a win over Thistle on Sunday and at the same time pile the pressure on City and theRangers playing later that afternoon.

PS loved this comment on yesterday’s April Fools Day apology that was five days on the making…

An apology that doesn’t even apologise to victim, leaves the victim until the last to show his appreciation for him. No apology to Celtic women, no apology to Celtic staff. Talks about the standards of his club? What standards! He just had to get the “Old Firm” in didn’t he!


Niall J

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As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

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