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Clark hails "body on the line" Celts

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By Colette Carr

While focus quickly turned to a midweek test against Hibs, Kelly Clark shared her pride for her team, pointing towards their undeniable grit and commenting on becoming a team that “knows how to win games”. 

Clark commended a side she believes “epitomises” what it means to be Celtic and praised her teammates for their “body on the line” attitudes. 

The captain opened the scoring against Rangers as the Hoops made it three out of three derby wins for the season, and knowing the magnitude of that feat in the context of this season made it all the sweeter for the skipper. 

“It’s really special. I don’t want to talk about it too much, but at the start of the season everyone definitely had Rangers down as favourites and for us to take nine from nine from them is unbelievable. It may not have been the prettiest of performances from us, but the three points is the most important thing and we’ve done it three times. It’s nicer when it’s comfortable, but it feels bigger when it’s not and the celebration from the girls afterwards is great to be a part of,” she began.

The opener marked the first time the defender had put the ball in the net since her dramatic last minute winner against Glasgow City in the voided league, as she joked she’d begun to worry it wasn’t coming.

“I was getting concerned - I’ve obviously been here for years and years and I’ve never gone a full season without scoring. I was getting a bit uptight thinking about a few sitters I’ve missed, but I’ve had a feeling that I’m due a goal, and when Hearts cleared a chance off the line last week, I thought, ‘maybe not’, but I think today’s goal was as good timing as it could’ve been. We didn’t have many chances, but I took the one I got,” she told.

In all three meetings with their Glasgow rivals, Celtic have dug deep to grind out the results and emerge victorious underdogs, and it’s that passion that Clark was proudest of, as she reflected on the mentality they’ve evolved and criticisms the Hoops had been subjected to in seasons past.

“The proudest part for me about the three performances is that grit and determination and I still think we’re a team that people don’t like playing against in the league. 

“I think it’s because we have that grit in us - we were disappointed with that in the first couple of games against Glasgow City after the two COVID breaks, so the leadership group tried to rally round and get the girls to have a bit of fight and have a bit of passion for each other and for the club, and it seems to have worked. 

“Especially in the games against Rangers it’s body on the line stuff; it means so much to everybody involved at the club and all the fans because this result means so, so much and I think we really do epitomise that the way we play on the pitch against Rangers. 

“We couldn’t ask for anymore; we came off the pitch three times broken, but the girls gave absolutely everything to get the result against a team that on paper were favourites to win the league. They hate playing against us and aren’t the only team, and it’s because we’ve got players that throw themselves about and know how to win games - that’s something we were really criticised for in the past. In years gone by we’ve always been criticised for being a team that doesn’t know how to win, but we’ve got that mentality, and I think this year we’ve shown we do have that mentality.

“It’s frustrating not being able to celebrate the way we usually would, but if we can get through Wednesday night then we’ve got two games left which are the usual week apart, so this is just the last, final few days of a real big push, and then we can get a proper week’s recovery and go into the last couple of games hopefully raring to go and fight,” she told.


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