Head coach of Scottish Women’s Premier League club Hibernian, Dean Gibson thinks his club can compete for the league title this season.
Hibs won their first game of the 2020 SWPL season on Sunday against Spartans – Rachel Boyle scored a 94th-minute winner for the Edinburgh outfit.
The club has recently changed their name to Hibernian Women from Ladies and also offered their players part-time professional contracts.
Prior to the season opener, both Rangers and Celtic announced they would move to full-time status, with several Hibernian players leaving the club.
Speaking to BBC Scotland, Gibson said:
“I think we can [challenge],”
“We’ve still got a very competitive squad. We maybe don’t have the same depth, but if you look at our squad the players we’ve got would compete to get in any side in the country and teams down in England.
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“If we keep our squad fit there’s no reason why we can’t compete at the top end.”
The late goal was not met with the same opinion by Spartans’ head coach Debbie McCulloch, the defeat left her feeling “cheated” after her side had two potential penalty claims not given.
“We didn’t play our best football today, we defended very well in the first half and had a couple of good chances,” said McCulloch.
“In the second half we had a stonewall penalty, same in the first half, the referee doesn’t give it, so it’s frustrating for us today.
“It shows that we can compete, and I don’t think a lot of people think we can compete. I’ve just told them [the players] to be extremely proud of their performance.”
The win means Hibs sit third in the league after the opening weekend of the season.