LFC WomenMatt Beard column: Return to action, Dowie injury and Arsenal trip

Published 6th March 2023

In his latest column, Liverpool FC Women manager Matt Beard looks forward to a return to action as the Reds face Arsenal in the Barclays Women's Super League on Wednesday night.

It feels like a long time since we played a game, and we can’t wait to get going again when we travel to Arsenal on Wednesday night (at Meadow Park, kick-off 7.15pm GMT).

We last played on February 12 and the schedule has seen us having played seven games in three weeks and then nothing for a month again.

The schedule has been frustrating and it’s probably led to a few injuries due to not playing for so long then playing a lot of games in quick succession.

We’ve now got two games in four days this week so it’s frustrating, but it is what it is and we are looking forward to playing again.

Unfortunately, Natasha Dowie has pulled her hamstring so we are looking at five weeks out.

She is a couple of weeks into her rehab and she is doing well, but it’s a big blow for us and for Tash as well.

We have a few players who are going to be touch and go for the Arsenal game so it’s been a frustrating period for us injury-wise, but we will give everyone every opportunity to be available for us on Wednesday and if not then on Sunday against Tottenham.

Arsenal of course will come into Wednesday on a real high after winning the Continental League Cup and we say congratulations to them.

It has been a little bit up and down for them before Sunday’s win but if you take Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema out of their team due to injury it has a massive impact.

Arsenal are a world-class team with world-class players and I thought they deserved to win the game against Chelsea.

For us, we have got to make sure we prepare well and we go there and do as well as we possibly can to take something from the game.

Against these top teams, we’ve seen it time and time again in this division, we’ve just got to make sure we are organised and when we have the ball make sure we don’t turn it over, and with our possession be sharp and make sure we are spot on with our passing.

That’s probably the biggest thing when you play against these top teams is you can’t switch off and we have to trust what we are doing. The way the WSL is, these four teams at the top are in a division of their own now and the rest of us are below that.

We haven’t played for a while so we are looking forward to it and we have to make sure that we do the right things.

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On Sunday we are back at Prenton Park when we host Tottenham Hotspur (kick-off 2pm).

I felt we were unfortunate to lose 1-0 away at Tottenham earlier in the season when we created enough chances on the day but just didn’t put them away.

We let ourselves down in the first half against Tottenham and, to be fair, they could have been out of sight, but it was a classic game of two halves that day and we were left kicking ourselves that we never got anything out of it.

From our perspective, it’s a home game, they are below us in the table and we must make sure that we win the game.

At home, I think we have been good this season. If I look back at that Leicester game we were kicking ourselves with the chances that we missed that day, but for whatever reason it just wasn’t to be in front of goal for us that day.

We must make sure we recover well after Wednesday night, then hopefully get a few more players back for Sunday, which will give us a bit more flexibility in what we want to do.

As always, thank you for your continued support.



Matt Beard was speaking to Liverpoolfc.com's Steve Hunter

Published 6th March 2023