Matt Beard on Aston Villa trip, Brighton win and Taylor Hinds fitness update

ColumnMatt Beard on Aston Villa trip, Brighton win and Taylor Hinds fitness update

By Matt Beard


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In his latest column, Liverpool FC Women manager Matt Beard reflects on the excellent away win at Brighton & Hove Albion and looks ahead to Sunday’s Barclays Women’s Super League trip to Aston Villa.

It was very pleasing for us to go into the international break with the win at Brighton & Hove Albion and it was an important three points.

I think it was a good team performance because the conditions were really tough. The pitch was very wet and you lost your footing underneath it, so we had to change things at the last minute after the warm-up. We were a bit more direct than what we would normally be.

It worked as it got them turned and us in their half of the pitch, and led to set-plays for us. I always knew if we were to win the game, because of the conditions it would be on a transition with them playing out and a set-play.

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If I look back on the first half, we probably could have had a few goals from corners and then Ceri Holland got the goal with them playing out, so it was an important three points because we hadn’t won in the WSL since Christmas and it keeps us in touch with Manchester United.

Ceri has goals in her without a doubt, but she has done a lot of unselfish work for us this year. Her forward runs stretch defences and create opportunities for others and we have been really pleased with her performance level.

Unfortunately, we will now be without Ceri for the next two games. The red card was harsh and I don’t even think the first booking was a foul because it was a great tackle.

On Sunday, we head to face Aston Villa in the WSL at Walsall’s Poundland Bescot Stadium (kick-off 2pm GMT). This is going to be a tough test for us. They are in good form at the moment and they have turned their season around.

It’s going to be a difficult afternoon, they have got some world-class players in their team and we know what to expect, but we are looking forward to it.

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Earlier on this season, we produced a really good performance when we beat Villa at Prenton Park, but we have to remember they had a lot of key personnel missing and they have got a lot of them back now.

Obviously they will be missing Rachel Daly, who has been pivotal to them, so we need to make sure we take advantage of that, but they have still got some world-class attacking players in their team.

It’s tough sometimes after an international break, both physically and mentally, for the players having to play two games in such a short space of time and then playing at the weekend, so hopefully we will get them all back healthy.

We’ve got to make sure the team are fully focused and back on Liverpool duty and, as always, we will give it everything we have got on Sunday.

On the injury front, Taylor Hinds is back running on the pitch. She won’t be available this weekend but I don’t think she is a million miles away.

As always, thank you for your continued support.



Matt Beard was speaking to's Steve Hunter



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