Manager's New Year Message
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 6:09PM GMT, Sunday, 30 December 2012
Bill Long believes it is imperative the Charlton women’s team make Bayliss Avenue a fortress in the second half of this season.
The Addicks are due to play at home six times out of ten league games in 2013, as they try to make up the match(es) they have in hand on the rest of the FA Women’s Premier League National Division.
And after seeing 2012 out with a thumping 13-1 London Cup quarter-final victory over Battersea Ironsides, they have momentum to see them into the New Year.
Long said: “We kept our shape [against Battersea] and were still working hard at the end, so that was nice. We could easily have turned off at half time but we didn’t and the girls got their just rewards.
“Hopefully we can take that momentum into next year. To make Bayliss Avenue a fortress would be fantastic and that is something for us to work on. As long as we can do that then that’s a good thing.
“It’s definitely good to have more home games than away, and the girls should make sure they are playing well at home and doing the right things.”
He was also impressed once again with his younger players, as he gave debuts to 16-year-olds Charlotte Long and Rosie Paye.
They joined left back Chloe Shields, who continues to make inroads into the first team, and did not look out of place alongside their more experienced team mates.
“I have to be honest,” he added, “I was very impressed with all three youngsters. They were fantastic and I wouldn’t be too frightened to throw them into a league game.
“They held their own and more. They all contributed and that can only be good for the future.”
After taking over from Paul Mortimer just two games and one point into the season, Long has lead Charlton to seventh place, with at least one game in hand over all teams except Leeds United.
Impressive wins away against Cardiff and Manchester City and a 7-2 home thrashing of Portsmouth have helped, and Long has been pleased with what he has seen.
“Since I have come in we have steadied the ship. It was a little bit up and down at the beginning but over the last few weeks we have steadied ourselves.
“We have had some good results, we had a blip along the way with Sunderland, but apart from that I can’t ask for any more from the girls.
“They’ve done everything I’ve asked of them, we are getting the results, we are scoring goals, we are going away to places like Manchester City and Cardiff and winning so that is absolutely fantastic.
“For me, I’ve been really pleased since I’ve come in and hopefully the New Year’s going to be an improvement from where we started.”