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Beth Merrick: Wolves Women want promotion for boss Dan McNamara

Beth Merrick insists Wolves Women are determined to earn promotion for absent manager Dan McNamara.

Beth Merrick (Getty)
Beth Merrick (Getty)

The head coach is currently overseas with the RAF completing his duty as an aircraft technician, meaning he will miss the play-off final tomorrow against Southampton.

McNamara did manage Wolves’ Birmingham County Cup win over Albion from afar and was able to communicate with the players and staff – something he will do again tomorrow. Karl Milgate has taken over in his absence and has settled in well, but Merrick says the squad is eager to secure a place in the Championship for their boss.

She said: “It’s always difficult when you have a personality like Macca missing.

“It’s difficult to say it’s been seamless because he’s such a huge personality to replace, but the biggest thing with him is trust and him and Karl go back a long way.

“The ethics Macca instils runs through Karl as well. It’s been difficult for him to come in but he’s got the respect and it has been a seamless process.

“Macca might not be here but we see him all the time. We’re on Facetime to him all the time and he’s always with us.

“He will try and take the pressure off and say it’s absolutely not about him, but there’s a huge part of it that is definitely for him.

“The fact he’s not here makes it more difficult but it’s absolutely for him.

“He’s changed this club and the women’s set-up and he has people playing his best football.

“People owe a lot to him and I know I certainly do.”

Merrick rejoined Wolves last summer, 18 years after joining at the age of seven.

Having previously earned promotion with both Villa and Coventry United, Merrick is targeting a hat-trick and believes this one could be the most important yet.

“It could be really special,” she added.

“It’s been spoken about before and I thought nothing of it, but this one would be the most special and the one I’d remember more than any.

“The magnitude of this one would be huge. To get three promotions and no relegations would be a pretty good ready.

“Even though I’m a Wolves fan, the way the club is run means that people who come here get more invested than just playing for a football club.

“People get drawn into the way it feels to be at Wolves. That can be mirrored in the men’s team when you look at someone like Neves and how he has settled in at the club over the years.

“It is special but it’s made special for everyone, whether Wolves fans or not.

“The rebuilding process at the club after the League One season has taken the club forward and it’s only gone from strength to strength for both the men’s and women’s teams.

“The way the club has moved forward and supported us, and the plans for us next year, it’s massive.”

Southampton enter tomorrow’s game at Stockport County’s Edgeley Park as favourites, having invested heavily in their set-up.

But Merrick says Wolves prefer being the underdogs as they chase an upset.

“We’ve thrived all season on being underdogs,” she said.

“In our league we’ve been taken seriously now but we’d rather go in as underdogs and they’ve earned the right to go in as favourites. That’s fine by us.

“The game is huge. They will be prepping for it as much as us, but they haven’t got the staff we’ve got. We have amazing staff who are not full-time but commit full-time to Wolves. That passes down to us.

“We’ve got great individuals but also great players across the board.

“When you compare our squad with Southampton, we have some hidden gems that maybe they’re not prepared for.

“We have got a quality squad and the ability to bounce back and keep going is something a lot of teams don’t have.”

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