Matt Beard on Chelsea trip, new signings, team news and more

Press conferenceMatt Beard on Chelsea trip, new signings, team news and more

Published 20th January 2023
Peter Lennox

Matt Beard held his pre-match press conference on Friday morning ahead of Liverpool FC Women’s Barclays Women’s Super League clash at Chelsea.

The Reds will be aiming to complete a league double over the reigning champions on Sunday in the 12.30pm kick-off (live on BBC), having overcome the west London side 2-1 at Prenton Park on the opening day of the season. 

Read the key points from the manager’s media briefing below… 

On what new signings Fuka Nagano and Miri Taylor will offer the team… 

Fuka is a wonderful footballer, she is very technically gifted. It’s going to take her time to settle into the team, and into England. It’s a new culture for her. The great thing is she’s experienced a year in America [playing for North Carolina Courage], in an English-speaking country. When we became aware of Fuka’s availability, that she was interested in coming to England, and we watched more of her, for us it was a no-brainer. In Japan she played in a midfield three, in a holding role, but in America she played as a No.10. She was so creative there, which is great for us, as it gives us that little bit of flexibility.  

With Miri, I’ve known her for a while as a player. When she was at Chelsea, she was a holding midfield player. In America [for Angel City], she has had a year of experience playing down the middle [as a striker] or out wide in a front three. Her natural position is in midfield, though, and she can play either in a holding role or an attacking role. Miri gives me great flexibility in regards to her versatility. When we lost Katie Stengel [to injury] last Friday, it left me with only three fit forwards. So, it gives us more cover there and more competition in midfield. Miri has done very well since she’s come in. Technically, she’s very gifted, she’s very athletic, and she’s confident as well. I’m really pleased with all the players we’ve brought in during this window. They’re going to improve the team and the competition for places.

Video: Miri Taylor signs for Liverpool FC Women

On whether Nagano and Taylor have received international clearance to play against Chelsea… 

This morning we woke up to the news that the NWSL [National Women’s Soccer League] has ticked the boxes on their end. We’re just waiting on the FA to confirm everything is OK. We’re anticipating they will both be available.  

On other team news for Sunday’s game… 

Katie Stengel has trained this week, so she will be available. Apart from Leanne Kiernan and Hannah Silcock, who is unavailable for the next 7-10 days as she has got exams, we have a fully-fit squad to choose from.

On how his players have responded to last weekend’s defeat at Manchester United…  

We had a conversation after the game, we’ve had a debrief and we’ve had a good reaction to that. I’m not going to let one game ruin a year-and-a-half of hard and good work which we’ve put in. I’ve been pleased with the response in training. It’s been fantastic this week and we need to make sure we take that into Sunday. Chelsea have gone on a good run. They’ve had a great Champions League campaign as well. We know it’s going to be a tough afternoon, but we’ve played them once and we’ve beat them once. We can take confidence from that day, but we need to make sure we give a good account of ourselves and respond in the right way.  

On whether Liverpool could sign an attacker in the January transfer window… 

It’s not like we’ve ruled anything out. The midfield was an area we needed to address and prioritise. We also have Leanne Kiernan coming to the back end of her rehab now as well, so we’re hoping to have her available around February or March. With Miri Taylor coming in, she can offer cover there [in attack], too. We haven’t ruled it out, but January is a tough window and it’s got to be the right player. We can’t just bring players in for the sake of it.

Published 20th January 2023