LFC WomenInterview: Taylor Hinds on Merseyside derby, captaincy experience and repaying fans
Taylor Hinds insists Liverpool FC Women are desperate to make their fans proud when they step out at Goodison Park on Friday night in the Merseyside derby against Everton.
After a brilliant opening-day win over Chelsea at Prenton Park on their return to the top flight, the Reds suffered a disappointing second outing in the division as their local rivals won 3-0 at Anfield.
Since then, Matt Beard’s charges have adjusted well to life back in the Barclays Women’s Super League.
A 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in their last match has seen Liverpool push seven points away from the drop-zone, and focus is fully on finishing as high up the table as possible.
Beard’s squad sit in eighth place, with the Blues two spots in front of them, ahead of the 7.30pm GMT kick-off.
Hinds, who joined the club in 2020 after leaving Everton, knows the stakes are high going into the fixture.
“It’s such a big game, isn’t it?” she told Liverpoolfc.com. “We are excited and obviously after what happened the last time we played against them at Anfield, we are eager to try to put that right on Friday night.
“We will be going into it, as always, with a positive mindset and we are just going to work hard and show how we have been training, and how we have been playing, like our last performance against Tottenham.”
Inside Prenton Park: LFC Women 2-1 Tottenham
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Manager Beard felt the occasion of playing in front of the Kop for the reverse encounter, as well as the live TV cameras, got to his team, who are hopeful lessons have now been learned.
“It was a tough day for us at Anfield,” Hinds continued. “It was such a big occasion and maybe some of us froze, I don’t know, but it was just hard to get back in the game after conceding quite early.
“We were bitterly disappointed and it was hard to come back from, but I don’t think we gave up and we tried our best to come back. We had some good chances in the second half but it just wasn’t our day.
“We’ve now got this chance to try to put things right now on Friday night.
“It’s going to be a tough game for both teams and I think you are going to see the fight and the passion from us, because we don’t want a repeat of what happened last time.
“We want to go there and prove a point ourselves. We owe them one and you can tell from the way we have trained this week that the girls are eager to put things right and fight for this team.”
Hinds was part of the impressive Liverpool performance two weeks ago that saw them come from behind to defeat Spurs at Prenton Park – a vital three points against a team just below them in the table.
“Coming back from the international break, we didn’t get the result we wanted away at Arsenal, but we responded really well against Tottenham,” she analysed.
“We played really well as a team and created so many chances I think we could have scored even more. But it was just positive to see it’s where we want to be going into a game like this.
“Missy Bo Kearns scored another excellent goal for us and she certainly doesn’t need any extra motivation going into this Merseyside derby. She is a Scouser and she has got all the motivation she needs right now.
“Bo has been unbelievable for us, getting goals and how much of an influence she is to the team. And, of course, she won’t be holding back on Friday night!”
January signing Fuka Nagano has certainly caught the eye since her arrival, with her displays in the middle of the park revolutionising the team.
The Japan international’s presence and know-how has allowed the likes of Kearns and Ceri Holland to get further forward into threatening positions.
“Fuka has been unbelievable since she came in,” Hinds said. “I think she is such a class player and she just knows when to pick the right passes, and Bo and Ceri have benefited from that.
“She knows when to make the right passes through to the strikers and even to me down the left side. It’s just that vision she has.
“She does it with such simplicity at times and makes it look so easy and so effortless, and I think that’s what is so great about her.”
During the recent enforced absence of regular captain Niamh Fahey through injury, Beard has handed Hinds the captain’s armband.
The boss has regularly paid tribute to her in his column on Liverpoolfc.com, stating that he sees the 23-year-old as one of the leaders in his squad.
Hinds said: “It’s definitely an absolute privilege to get the chance to captain this team and it’s nice to see the manager thinks of me in this aspect as a type of leader.
“But I’ve said plenty of times, it doesn’t change who I am and it doesn’t change the person I am either. It just helps, I guess, with my confidence as well and it is a nice thing to have been given this opportunity.
“My family are proud of me as well and I take this as a fresh positive, but it definitely hasn’t changed me as a player because I’m still me and I’ve not changed. It’s definitely nice to have it obviously but hopefully Niamh will be back soon.
“I think over these past few years I’ve really matured as a player but more as a person the way I go about things.
“My mentality has changed since I’ve been at Liverpool and definitely since Beardie has come in. I just want to keep pushing myself every day in training and in every game.”
Hinds was also keen to pay tribute to the club’s loyal supporters, who follow the team home and away, singing their hearts out.
Every player has a song and when Hinds hears hers, it always brings a big smile to her face.
She finished: “Sometimes you don’t hear it because you are so focused on the game but when there’s a break in play and I hear them singing my name, it just makes me smile and laugh. It makes you feel good.
“Our fans are great. They come to every game and it’s so nice to see them there. The other week at Arsenal it was freezing cold and our fans were all there singing. They are just amazing.
“We do this for the fans as well, for their commitment, and it’s important to always show them how grateful we are.
“We know we let the fans down the last time we played Everton at Anfield and we want to put things right on Friday.
“We want to do it for them and get those three points. It’s not just for ourselves and the team, it’s for our fans as well.”