Matt Beard on Everton draw, facing Man City and injury updates

ColumnMatt Beard on Everton draw, facing Man City and injury updates

By Matt Beard


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In his latest column, Liverpool FC Women manager Matt Beard reflects on the goalless derby draw with Everton, previews Saturday’s home game against Manchester City and brings us an injury update.

I have always said when we are not at our best, we take the point if we can’t get all three – and that is what happened at Goodison Park.

I think it was the same for both teams as the game just couldn’t get going. I thought it was a stop-start game with all the injuries at the start when Ceri Holland and Everton goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan were each down for a while.

It was a strange game and it reminded me a little bit of the Adobe Women’s FA Cup quarter-final against Leicester City, which we lost, in terms of it being flat.

I thought we were comfortable in the first half and dominated the game, but we didn’t take our chances. When that happens, you then allow the opposition to grow in confidence and they put us under a bit of pressure in the second half. Credit to them for that.

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Lawsy [Rachael Laws] made a great save to tip one onto the bar but apart from that I thought we were quite comfortable and Ceri could have won it for us at the end when she went through. But it was just one of those days.

It’s a tough game to play in because of what’s at stake – it is a different pressure. But that’s 10 points out of a possible 12 from our last four games, so I would have taken that if you had offered it after we lost at home to Arsenal.

Jenna Clark was excellent for us defensively. She has been fantastic for us since coming into the club this year. People have got to remember she is only young at 22 and she is playing in one of the top leagues. She has grown so much over the course of the season.

We had a period when she was up and down and I took her out of the team to protect her. She has got her head down in training, worked hard and got herself back in the team. I’ve been really pleased with how Jenna has responded.

Marie Höbinger didn’t start on Sunday because we wanted to give Missy Bo Kearns a chance after she came off the bench, scored and played very well against West Ham United. I just think that shows the depth we have now got in the squad.

I was told earlier this week that with all the injury time that is getting played these days, we have played an additional 45 minutes in our last three games! I think this needs to be looked at because we have had a few players pick up muscle injuries, so we need to look at that internally to see why this is happening.

On the injury front, Jasmine Matthews had a scan and it's a bit better than what we thought, so she will be out for about 21 days with her hamstring. Niamh Fahey will have a scan on a tight calf. Emma Koivisto missed the derby with a muscle quad injury. I thought Pazza [Lucy Parry], who came in for Emma, did well, so that was pleasing.

The good news is Taylor Hinds is back in training this week, so we will see how she goes before making our selection for the Manchester City game.

We now have five games to go in the Barclays Women’s Super League and there are still many points to play for. Our aim is to finish as high in the table as we possibly can.

We host Manchester City at Prenton Park on Saturday (kick-off 12.30pm GMT). They are a team, of course, who are fighting hard to win the title and I think they have been the most consistent team over the course of the season so far.

With Chelsea’s run-in and their manager Emma Hayes departing at the end of the season, Gareth Taylor has got a lot of stability at City. They are a team that has been playing together now for nearly 18 months.

But from our point of view, we know we can compete and we know that we can beat them.

We didn’t give a good account of ourselves when we were beaten by them in Manchester in January, so we want to put that right because we know we are a better team than the one that performed on that day.

We beat them 2-1 last season at Prenton Park and ran them close in an entertaining game in the Continental League Cup this season, when we lost 4-3. We are really looking forward to this challenge and I’m expecting it to be a good game.

This is the last game for us before the international break and then we don’t play again until Saturday April 20, when we travel to Bristol City.

Once you get knocked out of the FA Cup it becomes a real stop-start end to the season.

Maybe that has come at the right time for us with the injuries we have got, I don’t know, and obviously we wish we were still in the FA Cup, but it just didn’t happen for us.

However, there are still lots of points to play for and we will be giving it everything we have got to finish as high as we possibly can.

As always, thank you for your continued support.



Matt Beard was speaking to's Steve Hunter



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This article has been automatically translated and, while all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, some errors in translation are possible. Please refer to the original English-language version of the article for the official version.