ReactionMatt Beard on Arsenal defeat, injuries and preparing for Spurs
Liverpool FC Women want to produce a swift response to their Barclays Women's Super League defeat at Arsenal, insisted manager Matt Beard.
The Reds were beaten 2-0 by the Gunners in Wednesday night’s clash at Meadow Park, with Stina Blackstenius and Caitlin Foord on the scoresheet during the first half.
Beard was without several players on the night due to recent injuries but hopes to have some return in time to bolster the squad for Sunday’s hosting of Tottenham Hotspur, who sit two places and two points below eighth-placed Liverpool in the table.
“We’ve had a bit of an issue with the injuries – every player that was on the bench was on restricted minutes,” the boss told Sky Sports post-match.
“We have changed the system, I have to take responsibility for that, with the personnel we had available. We have done a lot of work on it but we looked disjointed, so we went back to something we’ve played with a lot this year and I thought we looked a lot better second half.
“So from that perspective the first half is on me, but my hands were tied a little bit when it comes down to obviously team selection and minutes of players.
“The pleasing thing is everyone got through that OK, so that’s a big, big positive.”
Looking ahead to the importance of the encounter with Spurs this weekend – with kick-off at Prenton Park 2pm GMT – and the possibility of having any sidelined players back, Beard added: “Definitely, it’s a big game, we know that.
“We’ll give them as long as we can with the other ones but most are probably a couple of weeks away, apart from Natasha [Dowie].
“Everyone is working hard to get back fit, in the gym, so fingers crossed we’ll have a couple more bodies back for the weekend.
“The main thing was to get everyone through; everyone that was restricted will now be fully available, so that’s good. We’ve got to make sure we’re prepared for Sunday now.”