Karen Hills: "We need to make sure that we’re prepared"

Karen Hills has hailed the attitude of her team as the Addicks prepare for their first away trip of the 2021/22 campaign against Durham.

The Addicks’ kicked off their FA Women’s Championship campaign with a historic victory against Coventry United last week, however it was back to business as usual at Sparrows Lane this week with the squad preparing for a tough game up north. 

“We’ve stayed focused, the girls have worked really hard in training,” Hills explained. “I think last week gave us an opportunity to see where we were against another opposition within our league. I think we came out of it with a lot of positives. We scored some good goals and gained that momentum of getting that first win which is always important, we’ve had a really good week of training, good preparation and we’re ready to go up to Durham.”

Hills explained what the mood was like after full-time at The Oakwood when the Addicks won their first ever professional game.

“We were really excited but we were also relieved, relieved to get that first game out of the way. We obviously had a week on all the other teams so we were just raring to go, to get the ball rolling and thankfully for us we got the win in front of our home crowd. We got the three points, scored some fantastic goals and it gave us that momentum to go into this week with the confidence and the belief that we can play against any team in this division.”

“The focus will always be the same, I expect my players and staff to come in win, lose or draw – we can’t control what happens on a Sunday. You’re always going to have the high emotions and that positivity, but we encourage that in every single moment. Yes, we were excited and happy to get those points but at the same time I think we’ve got to stay grounded and know that there’s more to come because it wasn’t the perfect performance, I don’t think there’s ever going to be a perfect performance. If we can just keep improving week-in, week-out with our performances – in key areas we can control the game better and we know that we could do better.”

“We know a lot about Durham, we played them in pre-season, we have also played them many times throughout the last couple of seasons. They haven’t changed much in terms of their players so individually and collectively they are very strong and they always will be, they always are a threat. They’ve got some fantastic forward-thinking players which we’ll have to manage and control. At the same time we’re going to focus on ourselves, we need to make sure that we’re prepared and we stick to the game plan and we go up there with the confidence that we’ve had this week, we make sure that we do a lot of rest and recovery from now until Sunday and then the game will take care of itself.”

The Addicks face Durham at Maiden Castle on Sunday (12pm). Supporters can follow all the build up to the game on Charlton Athletic Women’s official Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts.

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