Riteesh proud & positive going forward
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 1:23PM GMT, Thursday, 09 February 2017
First team coach Riteesh Mishra says he was ‘proud’ of the Charlton women’s team’s performance in defeat against Sheffield FC on Sunday and believes if his side can take the same level of performance into the rest of their campaign, they won’t be too far off the FA Women’s Premier League title come May.
'really disappointed but extremely proud of the players'
Charlton were knocked out of the SSE Women’s FA Cup by FA Women’s Super League 2 side Sheffield after a 2-0 loss at Sporting Club Thamesmead despite dominating the game.
The Addicks missed a plethora of chances and were punished for two mistakes by a clinical team.
And Mishra says his emotions on the game are mixed – ‘really disappointed but extremely proud of the players’.
“I’ve been at the club for three years and with this group I’ve been here for six months and it’s the first time I’ve felt this sense of pride in how hard they worked on and off the ball – they did exactly what I asked them to do,” he said.
“We just made a couple of mistakes and they punished us for them; and we had a hatful of chances but we just probably weren’t clinical enough in front of goal.
“They’ll probably go away and think it’s good for them that they’ve not played well and they’ve come out scoring two goals and keeping a clean sheet.
“I think that falsely represents how the game was; I think we forced them to play poorly and were on top of the game, particularly first half.
“We made them make mistakes and we just couldn’t capitalise on those mistakes, whereas they had a very cheap free kick and then I asked the girls to play and we probably overplayed a little bit in front of our 18-yard box.”
Charlton now get back into league action and make their longest trip of the season, as they travel to Wales to face FAWPL South leaders Cardiff City, who are unbeaten in the league this term.
Cardiff came out on top in the reverse fixture just before Christmas, running out 4-1 victors, so will be strong favourites. However, Mishra says if his side is much improved in 2017 and that if they can show the same as they did last time out against Sheffield they have every chance.
Going forward, while many might have written the south-east Londoners off in the title race having dropped more points than they would have wanted, Mishra disagrees and has challenged his players to keep on improving and put their stamp on the division.
“That was the best performance overall that I’ve seen from my girls,” he continued.
“If we put in that level of performance in every game between now and the end of the season I think we can go out and think we’ll beat whoever we play against – that’s how good our performance was on Sunday.
“We’re only going to get fitter, we’ve got bodies coming back again and if we put that level of concentration, tactical awareness, we have that aggression in our play and be a bit more clinical at both ends of the pitch we shouldn’t fear anyone we play.
“People in the league now probably don’t expect us to challenge [for the FAWPL title] but after what I saw on Sunday and what I see in training I’ve got a totally different view on that.
“But the pressure will be on Cardiff – they’re at home, after they beat us at our place they’ll be expected to go and win so I think the pressure’s off us a little bit but if we want to go and challenge we’ve got to go and win every game now.”