McDonagh looking forward to Hammers match
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 9:59AM BST, Sunday, 02 October 2016
Paul McDonagh is relishing the opportunity to get stuck into his first match as manager of the Charlton women’s team when they face West Ham United at Thurrock FC this afternoon.
McDonagh took over as first team manager of the Addicks at the end of the week after Jeremy Parsons stood down and believes his side has the quality to bounce back after a disappointing 5-1 loss to Coventry United last weekend.
McDonagh expects a tricky encounter despite the Hammers struggling with just one point to show for their first five games of the season
He said: “It will be a good game and I’m looking forward to seeing what West Ham are like now – obviously last year they struggled a little bit but they’ve got a new manager [James Marrs] and we all know who he is.
“They will be at least organised and fit and we need to be making sure that we are the same – organised, fit and raring to go. I’m relishing the opportunity to get stuck into the first game.
“[Coventry was] a surprising result really. We had a chat on Thursday as a team and I think individually a few people recognised they made a few mistakes but the quality’s there and if we can reduce those mistakes we made we’ve certainly got a good opportunity to bounce back.”
Looking past the first match of his reign, McDonagh has plenty of ideas to put into place alongside assistant manager Riteesh Mishra, who he says has ‘similar ideas’ on ‘how we want the players to act in terms of professionalism’ and how they both want the team to play.
Despite posing a strong squad that finished in second place last term, McDonagh, who was assistant to Parsons at the beginning of that last campaign, stressed the need to bulk it out with a few new signings.
“I know the team, although there’s a few faces in there that I’m not too familiar with,” he added, “but last year was last year and when I’m looking at this year and player performance and player attitude, last year has nothing to do with it; it’s a fresh start.
“One thing that’s clear is that we need to strengthen the squad generally, in terms of getting more players in from outside.
“We’ve got some reserve team players who have come in and done a good job but even with those in there we’re still a bit short on numbers if I’m honest so we’ll be looking to recruit.
If we can recruit and perform the way I know they can perform then there’s certainly no reason why we can’t challenge for the title.
“Obviously last weekend was a bad result but we’ll be looking to bounce back and we’ll be looking to get back to form and continue to push and put pressure on those above us.”