“The most difficult thing to take was the performance,” Kelly Clark

Celtic FC Women captain Kelly Clark spoke to the media after the Ghirls lost 2-0 to theRangers in the Women’s Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden. After a lacklustre performance all around, this is what Kelly had to say after Celtic lost our grip on the Women’s Scottish Cup without really putting on a performance worthy of the jersey.

The Celtic Star was in the press box at Hampden yesterday for the first time and that in itself was a major breakthrough as fan media gathers momentum and status within the game, even from the Scottish FA.  Here’s everything that was said in Kelly Clark’s post match media conference as she picks the bones on a dreadful and uncharacteristic Celtic FC Women performance…

Q: Just how difficult was that to take?

Kelly Clark: “It probably would’ve been more difficult if we had played well. The most difficult thing to take was the performance. We didn’t play well anywhere on the park. We didn’t start well, we had a little spell at the start of the second half, but we didn’t grow from it. So, it’s difficult, but the most difficult thing is the performance. If we had played well but got beat, I would be really frustrated at the result but today, I’m disappointed at the performance.”

Q: Does that make it worse that you feel as though you never gave a good account of yourselves?

Kelly Clark: “Yeah. It’s hard. It’s hard because we’ve been playing well. We weren’t great against Hibs, but we got the result. The one positive that we could take [from today], if we’re really trying to scrape the barrel to find positives, is that we didn’t play well, but we didn’t get hammered. At half-time, it was 0-0 and it took until the 85th minute for them to break us down and score a goal from a set piece. So, you know, if we are trying to find anything from the game then I think that’s the one thing. If we play well, then what could we have done, because today we didn’t play well, and we didn’t concede a goal until the 85th minute.

Q: Elena was saying that she felt there was no sense of bravery about the players. What would you attribute that to?

Kelly Clark: “I don’t know. You’d have to ask every individual player to get the answer. I think we’ve been a confident group for a while now and you know, right now I can’t put my finger on what went wrong, I don’t really know. I’d need to watch it back and to speak to every player to try and understand what happened today.”

Q: As captain, is that something you’ll do? Speak to every player because you still have a league to fight for?

Kelly Clark: “Yeah, I think all the senior players’ roles are massive, especially in the next nine or 10 days. That was a difficult game today, we’ve played two games on grass and now we have to go back to astroturf on Wednesday night and we have a massive game against Glasgow City so yes, I think it’s on the senior players and staff to spend the next couple of days reflecting and make sure everything that needs to be put right is put right before Wednesday night’s game.”

Q: How huge is that now?

Kelly Clark: “It’s not bigger than it was before the game today. It’s a totally different competition. We’re at the top of the league and we’re going to do everything we can to stay there but the reality is there’s no scope for the performance we put in today. Because if we put in a performance like that performance that we put in today then we won’t do anything.”

Q: It’s so unusual for you not to create many chances considering you’ve scored more goals in the league than any other by quite a distance.

Kelly Clark: “Yeah, it’s something that we’ll need to go and analyse. We’ve got Rangers to play again in just over a week’s time and we need to create chances that game because if you keep things 0-0 until the 85th minute but you’ve not created a chance then you’re not going to win a game. We can do what we can to try and keep the ball out of our own net, but we need to create chances to put the ball in the opposition’s net, and I think other than Tash’s half-chance, I don’t think we created much today.”

Q: Can you use the hurt from this afternoon to push you towards the title?

Kelly Clark: “We will. I think we will, I think the group will. They are hurting right now, the dressing room’s very quiet, but come Monday, the feeling and the emotion that everybody feels right now has to be used in the right way to prep for Glasgow City Monday, Tuesday, into the game on Wednesday, and then beyond that into the game against (the)Rangers.

Q: You haven’t had many bad days at Hampden…

Kelly Clark: “Well, not as a Celtic player! But as an internationalist, then it’s a little bit different.

Q: …How does the feeling contrast?

Kelly Clark: “I mean as much as it’s amazing that the games are here, I don’t think it hurts anymore because it’s here. We want to be in the Scottish Cup final and the reality is that we’re not. That hurts, that would’ve hurt if we played here, that would’ve hurt if we played in a public park. With regards to being used to celebrating here, we’ve done it twice, I want to keep doing it, I want to do it more, but I don’t think I’m used to it enough yet to feel like it adds to the hurt today. If we had played this game at Airdrie or if we had played this game at Broadwood, then I’d be sitting here with the same emotions.”


Q: Do you feel that the pressure of the occasion just got to the players today?

Kelly Clark: “I don’t know, I really don’t know. If anything, maybe we were too calm. That’s something that I’ll need to speak to everybody about. I don’t really know what happened yet, I don’t really know where it went wrong. Did we come in not nervous enough and then we didn’t have that sort of nervous, or excited, energy, whatever you want to call it, to push us in the game? I don’t know right now, that’s a task that we’ll need to do over the next couple of days, to analyse from the moment we met to the final whistle to figure out what went wrong.”

Q: Would you prefer playing another game tomorrow if you could?

Kelly Clark: “Yes. I think especially when you put in a performance like that, the best thing to do is to go back out and put in a much better performance. Against Hibs, we were terrible, and it was midweek but then we got the chance on the Sunday to put things right and we did. So, it’s frustrating because we want consistency and when I speak about consistency, I don’t mean win, win, win, I genuinely mean perform, perform, perform. And if you do that you give yourself the best chance of winning and the reality, is we didn’t give ourselves a very good chance of winning today so we’ve got a few days to recover and prep, and then we’ve got the chance to put things right. You can’t dwell on it, it helps because you can’t dwell on it. If you’ve got a whole week [before your next game], you’ve got a whole week worth of thinking about that performance that you put in. If you’ve got a few days, then you’ve got to very quickly switch and start thinking about the next opponents. And hopefully, you put in a better performance, and you forget about the bad one.”

About Author

I'm a student journalist and Celtic supporter. I'm delighted to have been recently appointed women's football writer for The Celtic Star, where the coverage of the Celtic FC Women's team has been incredible and unrivalled over the past three seasons.

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