Brighton: New WSL ‘adventure’ begins under Mikey Harris after Melissa Phillips sacking

Brighton: New WSL 'adventure' begins under Mikey Harris after Melissa Phillips sacking

About Brighton: New WSL ‘adventure’ begins under Mikey Harris after Melissa Phillips sacking

It makes sense why Mikey Harris called his initial days in charge of Brighton Women on an interim basis “crazy”.

After Melissa Phillips was abruptly fired on Thursday night, Harris was asked to move from the men’s academy to coach the team’s Women’s Super League practice against Manchester United.

He held a press conference on Friday lunchtime prior to meeting with every employee, and all he needed was a single 60-minute training session to prepare his team.

Although Harris’ tenure at the top might be brief or extended, he describes his role as “an adventure” and feels “privileged to be given the opportunity” to lead it.

Among a number of unexpected shocks, the most welcome of them was probably

the first half show Brighton put up at Leigh Sports Village, even if they lost 2-0.

“It truly has been an insane last 48 hours. The gamers’ level of intelligence in just one session truly astounded me,” Harris remarked.

Regardless of the outcome, it was amazing to see them go and perform the way they did, and that we invited them to. The goal is to expand on that.

For me, this is a little bit of an adventure. There’s no other way for me to put it.

It may end the following week, or it might go on longer. I’m going to savor every second of it and support the employees in becoming their best selves.

“If we’re able to use the I’m confident that the style, individuality, and unity we shown today will pay off.”

Brighton: New WSL 'adventure' begins under Mikey Harris after Melissa Phillips sacking

What were the reasons behind Phillips’ sacking?

Phillips had only been in the position for nine months when Brighton decided to fire him, and the move has drawn criticism.

Although Brighton said that her departure was “critical for the progress we want to see,” she was well-liked by both players and supporters.

For a team that hopes to finish in the top four of the WSL, Phillips’ seven losses from 12 league games was viewed as a letdown, even if they were five points above the relegation zone at the time.

It is known that Brighton’s decision to fire Phillips was influenced by their investment in professionals who analyze performance data and statistics. They fired Phillips because they felt he had not improved his performance or outcomes.

Two years ago, the Seagulls unveiled a plan that set

outlined their goals to develop a “pathway towards top four” that included six essential components between 2022 and 2024.

These included the player pipeline, hiring, coaching and performance, health and wellness, and marketing and communications.

It followed an £8 million investment in a brand-new women’s training facility that is regarded as one of the best in the WSL.

Because of that expenditure and the addition of eleven new players in the summer, Brighton believes they ought to have advanced farther.

Opponents point to the team’s reorganization and argue that Phillips needed more time to have an effect, thus Brighton has to make sure their next hire is a good fit.

However, Harris, who said that he is studying the women’s game, has “total belief” they can succeed and is well-liked in the club.

‘We tried to play with style and identity’

Brighton’s new direction was received somewhat well at initially.

They were never going to win against United and were always going to have a difficult time, but Brighton had a lot of possession and only allowed the hosts four attempts on goal.

With the exception of a brilliant play by United’s Geyse that set up Nikita Parris’ goal, Harris was especially happy with the first half performance, which showed a lot of potential.

“We arrived at Manchester United feeling incredibly upbeat and optimistic. We were aware that it would be a difficult assignment because they are a great squad with elite players. However, I also think we have elite players,” Harris remarked.

“This season, the players have a genuine chance to succeed. We made an effort to experiment with identity and style. It embodies the football team’s mission and core values. I thought we accomplished that.

“Amazing job to the players—especially after the kind of week they’ve had—because it’s not easy. We came here to win, not to lose football games, which nobody enjoys. I hope that was evident to everyone.”

What are the tenets and principles of the club that Harris believes they can imitate?

“We want to dominate the ball as much as possible,” Harris stated.

“I really think we can play possession-based football, where we dominate the ball, with this group of players, given some more time to work and analyze.”

“Without the ball, we want to be incredibly aggressive, press, and recover the ball as soon as we can. I must rewatch the game, but right now We definitely seemed to be attempting to accomplish those goals.

“I hope it will give the players belief. They believed today and delivered a really good performance, especially in the first half.”

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