Riteesh looking forward to Sheffield challenge
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 12:31AM GMT, Saturday, 04 February 2017
The Charlton women’s team must be at their best if they are to progress past FA Women’s Super League 2 side Sheffield FC in Sunday’s SSE Women’s FA Cup third round clash at Sporting Club Thamesmead
Speaking after his side’s 8-0 Ryman Women’s Cup semi final victory over Worthing Town on Thursday, first team coach Mishra said he has confidence in his side ahead of ‘a big month’.
After the FA Cup match, Charlton travel to Wales to face leading FA Women’s Premier League South title challengers Cardiff City, who are yet to lose a league match this season.
However, Mishra said his side will not fear anyone, but added ‘we know we’re going to have to be at our best and be better than we have been this season so far’.
And he hopes Charlton can play without the added pressure of being favourites in both matches – urging his players to revel in their underdog status.
He said: “We don’t know too much about them because they’ve not played much up until now so we’ve not really been able to see much of them.
“That can be a good thing, actually, because we can focus on our game and treat the game as a one-off opportunity to go out and put a marker down against a team who are coming here as favourites.
“That’s a rare experience for our players – usually they feel the pressure and the club feels the pressure of having to go and win every game because we’re expected to. This time around it’s going to be different; sometimes being an underdog can go in your favour and I’m hoping we can use that freedom to go and play, express ourselves.
“I want us to hit them right from the start of the game – make sure we don’t allow them to get a foothold in the game and hopefully our energy and the quality we’ve shown in the last couple of weeks and a good crowd behind us will help.
“I see how good our players are everyday and how positive they have been since the turn of the year and I want us to take that into our games and play with that positive mindset.”
The key, according to Mishra, will be getting off to a good start – something which they have struggled with recently. Despite starting 2017 with 5-0 victories against both Portsmouth and West Ham, the players were disappointed with the opening half an hour or so of both games.
And Mishra says they must improve and not allow their opponents to settle – otherwise the danger is that their class will shine through.
But it is a good challenge, he adds – and a great opportunity. “It’s a great challenge, a great test – I’m looking forward to seeing how our players respond,” he continued.
“Against a top team like Sheffield, who undoubtedly are going to have more quality than most we have faced this season, we can’t afford to start sloppily at all because we will get punished.
“We need to make sure that if they start slowly or if they have any poor spells, we capitalise. We’ve got to stay concentrated all the time, play at high energy throughout the game if we can, really help each other out – we’re going to more than we have done so far and we’re probably going to have to find a level of performance that we haven’t all season so far.”