Matt Beard previews WSL trip to Reading

Press conferenceMatt Beard previews WSL trip to Reading



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Liverpool FC Women manager Matt Beard previewed tonight's fixture with Reading FC Women in a pre-match press conference.

The Reds make a swift return to Barclays Women’s Super League action at the Select Car Leasing Stadium following Sunday’s dramatic 3-3 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion.

Beard was quizzed on several topics by the media ahead of the match – read a summary below.

On the character shown by his team in the fightback at Brighton…

We were really pleased, especially with the second-half performance and the way that we dominated it. I felt we probably could’ve nicked it in the end with the chances that we had. Megan Walsh made two great saves. It’s pleasing to show that side that we continue to keep fighting. We created numerous chances – we had Emma, we had Mel and we had Taylor hitting the bar as well as the two goals in the second half. I think we restricted them with their chances, so to get the point, we would’ve taken it at half-time, but we were desperately disappointed we didn’t get all three. We should’ve had a penalty as well, so it was a positive second half and a positive end to a frustrating first half.

Highlights: Brighton 3-3 LFC Women

On the pressure of trying to build on the Brighton draw against Reading…

I think people have to understand that we’re going through a transitional period of coming back into the WSL – it’s a tough league. Reading have had a bit of an inconsistent start; they’ve been a little bit unlucky with injuries, but the pressure is really on them. They’re the ones at home, they’re the ones that need the points as much as we do. I think if we can perform anywhere near like we did in the second half on Sunday then I think hopefully we can get three points.

On Shanice van de Sanden’s impact at Brighton…

We were delighted and I say this every week: it’s her influence on the pitch and it’s her influence in the dressing room. Even when she wasn’t playing, she’s such a bubbly character – infectious, she just makes you smile and laugh. It’s fantastic. We know a fully fit Shanice is dangerous with her pace, she can cross the ball. I think for her to get a goal and assist summed up her performance really. We were really pleased and we’re looking forward to seeing her kick on now.

On how close the forward now is to full fitness and starting a game…

Yeah, she’s pretty much there now. She’s available to choose from the start if that’s what we choose to do, so that’s a great option for me. But we’ve got to be conscious that we only played on Sunday and it’s now Thursday and we’ve got another game on Sunday. There’s a lot of games in a short period of time because we’re spare the last weekend in December before we go for the Christmas break. We’ve got Blackburn and Manchester City in the cup as well as West Ham and Leicester on top of this one. So, we’ve got quite a busy next four weeks. We’ve just got to make sure we do best by her and the team.

On his admiration for tonight’s opposition…

Kelly [Chambers] does a great job year in, year out – they always find a way. I know they’ve had a bit of a tough start to the season… they’ve had a few issues. When you lose key personnel, it does have an effect. I think if you look at Manchester City’s start to the season last year, with all the players they had out missing, it had an effect on their season. Where we don’t have big squads and don’t have U21s or academy players you can call upon as you do in the men’s game, it does have an effect on you. I think they’ve got a great record of staying in the division and a great record of doing well so I’m sure Kelly and Reading will be OK.

On Missy Bo Kearns’ development…

Listen, Bo has progressed so much in such a short space of time – not just with Liverpool but with England as well. She has played a lot of football and we’ve been really pleased with her development. I think you can see with the England team she plays in the holding role, she plays in the eight or the 10, so she has that flexibility and versatility in midfield and she’s a fantastic character. She’s still young, she’s still got a long way to go but I’ve said time and time again she’s got the world at her feet. She’s such a bubbly character and a creative spark for us.



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