"I want us to be competitive in everything we do." Karen Hills

Karen Hills pre-Southampton

Charlton boss Karen Hills is looking for a positive start to the 2022/23 Barclays Women’s Championship season, as her side makes the trip to St Mary’s Stadium to face Southampton on Saturday.

The Addicks Head Coach is expecting a tough test from the Saints, who achieved promotion from the National League last season under the guidance of England Lionesses legend, Marieanne Spacey:

“I know Marieanne very well, I used to play against her many moons ago,” said Hills. 

“I know what she’s about, I know she’s got her team very well organised. A lot of players have come with her on the journey and will continue on the journey.”

“She’s brought in some new additions which are going to definitely strengthen what she already had. I think they’ve got a great unit down there, they’ve created a fantastic culture.”

“It’s always going to be an interesting jump. They’ve got to see how they fair out in the Championship. It’s probably a little bit different to where they’ve come from but at the same time, I have no doubt that they’re going to be in and around and picking points up all through the season.”

“They’ve got a fantastic manager and coaching team behind them, but we need to focus on ourselves. We need to go there and try to get a job done.”

Charlton finished in fifth place last season in what was their first season as a professional side and Hills wants her team to relish the pressure of expecting more this time around and build upon their impressive 2021/22 campaign:

“We want pressure,” she explained. “These players are now in a full-time pressured environment and ultimately, we’re here to win games. Of course, the pressure is going to be on and to have the opening game at St Mary’s in front of, what I think is going to be a very good crowd.”

“Southampton have got a fantastic following at St Mary’s. It is the opening game, in the whole of the Women’s WSL and the Championship, I think all eyes are going to be on us and we’re ok with that. I think it’s good for the players to feel that pressure, to know how to respond. But then it’s when that first whistle goes, it’s game on and competes to win.”

“I want us to be competitive in everything we do, training, mentality, we’ve got to get that right. I think we’ve brought in a bunch of players that have really been able to do that and will do that.”

“You always want to win your opening game, we want to get a point on the board. You don’t want to be on the losing end of the first game. I think we’re in a good position and Southampton will be as well and I’m looking to a really exciting game.”

Click here for the match preview: Southampton vs Charlton

Don't miss a kick of the Addicks' 2022/23 Barclays Women's Championship campaign. Purchase your season ticket by clicking here. 

Season Ticket graphic 2022/23

Read Time: 3 mins