Matt Beard on Merseyside derby, Kiernan injury, Anfield anticipation and more

Press conferenceMatt Beard on Merseyside derby, Kiernan injury, Anfield anticipation and more

Published 23rd September 2022

Liverpool FC Women manager Matt Beard previewed his side's Merseyside derby against Everton Women in a pre-match press conference on Friday.

The Reds host the Blues in Barclays Women's Super League action at Anfield on Sunday (6.45pm BST) following last week's impressive win over reigning champions Chelsea.

Beard sat down with the media to discuss a range of topics ahead of the fixture, including the game itself, Liverpool's latest team news, Leanne Kiernan's injury and much more.

Read on for a summary below…

Inside Training: Women set focus on Merseyside derby

Firstly, an update on Leanne Kiernan's ankle injury if possible - the statement said there was a chance of surgery... is that the case?

She needs surgery, unfortunately. We're anticipating probably early next year [for] when she'll be back in.

And the rest of the squad, are there any other injuries ahead of the game?

No, we're all sorted there. Shanice [van de Sanden] is obviously unavailable but apart from that Charlotte Wardlaw is available for selection.

It's a big derby this weekend, have you spoken to any of the fans about it?

No, not really. We've obviously only had the one game but we're looking forward to the game. It's the first fixture that you look for and it's great that it is at Anfield as well. We're looking forward to playing there and it's going to be a tough game because Brian [Sorensen] has done well. We know it's going to be a tough evening, but we've had a good start and a good pre-season. It's just about concentrating on ourselves.

Will your message to the players be about embracing the occasion, especially after a good pre-season and the win against Chelsea?

We keep the players honest day in, day out. Chelsea has gone now - we reviewed that game. We looked at things that went well and things we want to improve. Then straight away we started to focus on Everton. We're prepared for the game, [we've] still got two more training sessions but we're looking forward to it.

Is there any change in your approach from Chelsea to this weekend's game against Everton?

No, there's no change in our approach. Obviously we're playing against a team with a different system to what Chelsea played, so we'll adapt to how they play. We just really want to concentrate on ourselves and make sure we hit the areas we need to hit to win football matches. It's a different occasion playing at Anfield - that's going to put added pressure onto us a little bit but then also Everton. They're coming to one of the most iconic stadiums in football [and] it's a Merseyside derby.

There will be a bit of pressure on both teams. It's live on TV and it's anticipated [to be] a big crowd there, so it puts pressure on both. We've just got to concentrate on ourselves. Once the whistle goes and they cross that white line I've got every faith and confidence in the group that we can put in a good performance and work like we did the other day [against Chelsea].

Published 23rd September 2022