AFC Fylde Ladies manager Conrad Prendergast has admitted that his side aren’t good enough to reach his expectations yet.
Despite a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Newcastle United Women last time out, they were thumped 5-0 by their nearest rivals Derby County Ladies in their last away game.
The former Manchester City Women’s development squad manager has been in charge of the Coasters for two months, and despite seeing some positives he believes there is a long way to go for the club to reach their aims.
“The things on the pitch are starting to come together a little bit more in training, in terms of the things I’ve tried to put in place, like how we train, how we play and how we act,” he stated.
“At the moment, I don’t think the club is good enough.
“We need a lot of improvement, and I’ve openly told the squad and individual players about this.
“We need to improve technically as individuals, but we also need to bring some new life into the team.”
Prendergast says that the players have responded as positively as can be expected after he informed them of his plans to bring in fresh blood for next season.
Fylde are yet to win away under the 24-year old’s management ahead of Sunday’s trip to Bradford City Women, who are seventh in the FA Women’s Premier Division North.
And it was a disappointing 2-2 draw on the road at Huddersfield that made it clear to the manager that changes were needed.
“They’re professional, and a lot of them have been in the game for a long time, a lot of them have been at professional clubs,” he said.
“It’s not something they can argue with if I’m honest, because it’s clear in the results that we’ve got in recent weeks.
“The Huddersfield one for me was a real stand-out, there should have been a massive gap between them and ourselves, but there was no real comparison between the two teams.”
Leaving the best team in the country for a team two divisions below was a bold move, especially given the ambitions at Fylde on both the men’s and ladies’ sides.
Despite some early struggles on the field, Prendergast says he couldn’t be happier with how he has been welcomed to the club following his move from Manchester City.
He had more praise for the players’ attitudes too, having to adapt to a different regime than they were used to under former boss Luke Swindlehurst.
“The club overall in terms of its staff, from the groundsmen to the receptionists, and the players from the men’s first-team to the women’s, everyone has been really welcoming,” he claimed.
“As soon as I stepped through the door after being successful in the interview process, everyone was congratulatory, and it was a really positive vibe which made the transition from one club to another really easy for me.
“The players especially have been really good in terms of adapting to new ideas, after being told something completely different to do.
“They could have easily turned around and made it difficult for me in my job but they’ve done the opposite and it’s been good.”