While a mid-season break can normally prove a distraction it has certainly been welcomed on this occasion - given the injuries to the squad.
The fixture schedule hasn't been kind to us with the team having to play some nine games in just eight weeks and given the torrid time we have had on the injury front, I was delighted to get to the break unbeaten in the league and having the opportunity to get some players back fit.
Credit must go to the squad for the hard work and resilience they have shown in the first part of the season where defensively we've been strong; however we need to improve our use of the ball when in possession - as well as our short game in and around the final third. The team have been working hard in training to improve this, so to complement our strong defensive unit, and hopefully it will stand us in good stead when we host Arsenal on our return to league at the end of the month.
As you would have heard earlier in the week, we were delighted to confirm the signing of Nina Pedersen - a player who brings great versatility to the current squad given she can play either centre half, or the holding role in midfield. I have been looking to bring in an extra defender for some time; however no one of Nina's quality has been available until now, so I'm absolutely delighted she has joined up to strengthen our squad and provide extra competition.
I want to take the opportunity to congratulate Matty Campbell and Steve Wright for their FA Girl's Youth Cup success with the U17s against Everton. It further highlights the great strength in depth at the football club and we have got some fantastic young players coming through at the Centre of Excellence. Kevin Quigley has done a fantastic job, alongside the coaching staff there that ensures that Liverpool Ladies have firm foundations in place for the future.
Looking ahead to the Arsenal game, I'm pleased to report that barring the long term injuries to the likes of Nicole Rolser, we should have a relatively fit squad to choose from. Kate Longhurst has been working her way back to fitness in the past few weeks, while I'm hopeful that Katrin Omarsdottir will be fit to return to the side. The Gunners maybe bottom of the league and currently without a manager, but their recent FA Cup success shows that they have great quality within their squad and will provide tough opposition when they visit us on June 29.
I wanted to end this column to thank you for the support you have shown the team at the Select Security Stadium during the first half of the season. The atmosphere you create is of great encouragement to the Ladies and fills them with great pride every time they step out in the Red shirt of Liverpool. I hope you will continue to turn out to watch us for the rest of the season and cheer us on in our quest to retain the WSL title.