Riteesh - I'm So Proud of these Players
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 9:34AM BST, Sunday, 30 April 2017
Riteesh Mishra was full of praise for his players after the Charlton women’s team came from a goal down to beat newly crowned FA Women’s Premier League (FAWPL) South champions Tottenham Hotspur to retain their Capital Women’s Cup title on Tuesday.
“I said in an interview last week that I’m really excited about the future at this football club and what I can do with these players. This has just reconfirmed that"
Having lost twice to Spurs already this season, the women’s team also came from a goal down on Sunday to win their away FAWPL South tie against the North Londoners.
That was just Spurs’ second defeat of the season in all competitions and, only three days later they had their third, with Charlton inflicting it yet again.
A Wendy Martin second half goal gave Tottenham the advantage despite Charlton dominating, but strikes from Charley Clifford and Kit Graham meant captain Kim Dixson lifted the Capital Cup for the fourth season running.
And Mishra hailed his players’ character, after what has been a difficult season, saying: I am super proud of all of the players - the application we put in the last two weeks has been terrific.
“It’s been a difficult few weeks, with the realisation that Spurs have won the league which is really what we wanted to do but have never really been in a position to.
“I’ve been trying to get the belief into the players and Sunday we showed that, we showed some real good character. Sunday we gave ourselves mentally the chance for Tuesday because if we hadn’t put in a performance on Sunday I think the belief maybe would have dropped.
“Tuesday, the players showed some great character, even more so than Sunday. Leading up to it we had some difficult times – players who were touch and go with injury, we’ve had to change shape, change system – but they took it on board and it’s proved its worth. I thought we were the better team on Tuesday and we deserved it.
“Everyone took responsibility, everyone stood up and were counted for. Our front two worked their socks off, our midfield four, some of them had positions they weren’t quite used to but worked so hard to protect the back four, and we defended so well.”
Next up is yet another encounter against Spurs – the fifth of the season between the pair with two wins apiece thus far – in the FAWPL Cup final at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage.
With two straight wins against the opposition they know so well, it could well be argued Charlton have the momentum going into what will be the biggest of the five matches.
And Mishra says finishing off the season on a high will set his side up for what promises to be an exciting 2017/18 campaign, after he took over as first team coach halfway through the season, since when there has been a big improvement in performances.
“I said in an interview last week that I’m really excited about the future at this football club and what I can do with these players. This has just reconfirmed that.
“We now go into the 7 May with some real momentum – it’s going to be a massive scrap and a massive battle. They’re going to want to beat us again. It’s 2-2, really and it’s going to be winner takes all. It’s a big trophy to win.
“But I’m confident, the players are confident, and I think we have to go into it full of confidence.”