ANDY GARDNER knew it could be a difficult afternoon for the team against the winners of last years League and Scottish Cups as Rangers opened their League campaign against Hibernian.

Suffering a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Hibernian in the opening match of the Scottish Women’s Premier League Gardner said: “We knew going into the game we had a few players out and then in the warm up a few more dropped out.

“We always knew it was going to be tough but we know we have strength and depth in the squad and that the girls were more than capable.“

Rangers started the match brightly but couldn’t keep Hibs out and Gardner recognised the opponent’s performance saying: “You know the quality that Hibs have got and fair play to them, they were absolutely brilliant for the full match.

“I thought that we settled into the game okay and we had an early chance where Hannah Robertson goes through on goal and is very unlucky before Hibs just went up the part and scored.”

Gardner felt that the team didn’t do themselves justice in their first half performance and decided that a half time shake up of the team was needed. He said: “I think there were areas in the game where we were off the boil, especially in the first half, so at half time we changed it up and went to a 4-4-2.

“That really helped us, brought us into the game a bit more and we got more confidence and we actually ended up scoring some decent goals.

“The sore thing for us is we said at half time no more goals and they’ve gone up and scored a fourth so we need to learn from that.”

The ability to bounce back is something that the team has exhibited before and Gardner praised his team’s determination. He said: “We know we’ve got goals in the squad, we’ve got a very, very young squad as well but it’s a talented squad.

“We’re still very confident that we can do things this season, it’s just about taking away the small mistakes. “

Up next for Rangers in the league is Stirling University but the following week they face Hibernian again in the quarter final of the SWPL Cup and the Gardner knows what much be done before they meet again. He said: “We’ll sit down and we’ll discuss this match with the analyst team and the squad.

“I think just by speaking to a few of them after the game, that they know exactly where the problems have been, so we can address that on the pitch and we will be ready for them come the cup game. “

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