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WATCH | Ciaran Toner reflects on brilliant win over Hull City

5 April 2024


WATCH | Ciaran Toner reflects on brilliant win over Hull City

5 April 2024

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Belles manager Ciaran Toner was left delighted after his side pulled off the best result of his tenure to date in ruthlessly seeing off promotion chasers Hull City.

Izzy Gigg opened the scoring for the Belles before second half strikes from Arianne Parnham and Jasmine Saxton secured all three points.

The result sees the Belles move within just one point of the top half of the FAWNL Division One North and the Irishman says his side got exactly what they wanted from their latest match.

“I couldn't ask for much more really in terms of the result,” Toner said. “I said to the girls that it’s a tremendous achievement against a team that are highly likely to go on and win the league.

“I did say at half-time we need to be more efficient but I think overall when we look at where we've come from on a serious note to where we are now, that's a major shift in performance levels, in application, what we do in those key moments.

“At half-time we said if we can get that second goal then that leads us into a different game because they're chasing it a little bit and then at times they force things and that works in our favour.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game anyway. They've got some good players.

“There's a reason why they're up at the top so we knew it was going to be a difficult game to come into. I just felt that we worked really hard for each other.

“We had a little bit of luck on our side but we scored some quality goals as well and we put them under pressure in the right areas.

“That really was the difference. I thought we had to defend really well against a good team and we did that.

“I'm not coming away thinking this is great. It's a good result. But we still have a lot of work to do.

“Tonight was a real indication and a statement of who we want to become as a team and the challenge now is to be able to do that consistently.”

The derby day victory also sees the Belles now with 21 points from 12 games under Toner’s reign and the manager was pleased to see the progression in his side.

He added: “It shows how far we’ve come and when I spoke to the girls I set a challenge about these last five games, what we wanted to get from it and we had a good conversation about that

“What I did stress was that it's okay to talk a good game with that and say this is what we want but then we have to understand how to go out and apply ourselves.

“We’ve taken it game by game and we spoke about the game against Durham, who we know are a tough side at the weekend and we got a result from that so that's just kicked us on to tonight.

“Hopefully we can finish the season off well. We've got to a cup final which we're really looking forward to and then that's the building blocks for what's to come next season.”

The Belles will now enjoy a 17-day break from league action but Toner wants Belles fans to be ready to roar his side on when they return for their final league matches and a cup final at Hillsborough.

The Irishman added: “It’s a well-earned break for the players now after a hard shift tonight and another at the weekend.

“That's what they need and deserve really. I always say about the sacrifice these girls make with limited resources because of the love for the game.

“We have to celebrate that and recognise it but then I think they'll probably want another game because of how we've done and the momentum that we're building.

“We've had that from these last few games which has helped us and it'll lead into what will be towards the end of the season, those last few games and a cup final.

“We hope that is going to be a great occasion and we hope we're going to get loads of support from our fans down at Hillsborough for that.

“These are the building blocks and foundations for next year.”

To watch Ciaran's post-match interview in full, press play on the video above.

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