Matt Beard on returning to action, Bristol City trip and star-quality Fisk

ColumnMatt Beard on returning to action, Bristol City trip and star-quality Fisk

By Matt Beard


Facebook Twitter Email WhatsApp LinkedIn Telegram

In his latest column, Liverpool FC Women manager Matt Beard looks ahead to Saturday’s Barclays Women’s Super League trip to Bristol City and provides an update from the camp.

As always during an international break, my main concern is the players all come back fit and healthy after proudly representing their countries all over the world. And that is the case, which is great.

It has been a bit of a nice reset because we haven’t played since March 30 and we had a few injuries before the break, so we have been working getting those girls closer to being back in training with the squad.

Everyone is progressing well apart from Shanice van de Sanden, who has had a bit of a setback, but we’ve used this window well to keep everyone’s fitness topped up.

There were some really positive performances from the players during the international break.

I went through some of the clips with Missy Bo Kearns from her displays with England U23s and she took her goal really well, I thought her forward runs were really good. Sophie Roman Haug had a good camp with Norway, Ceri Holland got assists for Wales, and Mia Enderby helped England U19s qualify for the Euros, so lots of positives, which is great.

We can’t wait to get back out on the field again when we head to Bristol City on Saturday at Ashton Gate (kick-off 12.30pm BST).

We are looking forward to a good week of training because normally if we had played on the Sunday you would then have a recovery day, your top-ups and things like that, so this gives us a full week to prepare.

We are really looking forward to going to Ashton Gate. Bristol City are fighting for their lives so we know this is going to be a tough game. We drew 1-1 at home with them and then beat them 1-0 away in the FA Cup.

You have to accept cookies in order to view this content on our site.

Watch on YouTube

We know they are a difficult team to play against, but take that defeat against Manchester City in our last game out of the equation and we have done OK recently.

We want to get back to winning ways and get another three points and keep putting pressure on Manchester United for that fourth spot. With four games to go we have got Chelsea and Manchester United to play at home, so we want to take as many points as we can and to try to cement that fourth- or fifth-placed spot.

There is still a lot for us to play for and we will be giving it everything we have possibly got to finish as high as we can.

If you look at the prize money, for example, it is different for each position, so that is important and we want to make sure we finish as high as we can.

Yes, we’ve got two very tough home games but as I’ve said before, apart from the games against Manchester City and Chelsea this season the others have all been very close so we want to get back to winning ways on Saturday.

I want to say congratulations to Grace Fisk, who was awarded the Standard Chartered Player of the Month for March. It was well deserved!

She has been consistent all season and I firmly believe that defensively she is one of the best one-v-one defenders out there as very rarely does she get beat in a one-v-one situation.

Her personality is fantastic and it’s like she has been at Liverpool for years. When you come to a club like Liverpool it does give you that added pressure because of the size of the club, this is worldwide. Fisky has just taken it in her stride like a duck to water and she has been a great signing for us.

Going into these last four games I have been pleased with the competition we have now got for places. I talk about this a lot but it is so important for what we want to achieve.

It has been tough sometimes to leave players out but that’s because sometimes we feel there is a different way we will play. These days, the squads are obviously a lot bigger than what they used to be historically, so we utilise the squad and we have done that a few times this year. It’s not about the XI that starts. It’s about the squad and it’s about the players that also finish the game.

On Monday it was a very emotional day for the club and the city as we paid our respects to the 97 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives at Hillsborough, and myself and our captain Niamh Fahey laid a wreath at the Hillsborough Memorial at Anfield.

Hillsborough is something you should never experience, anything like that, and my heart goes out always to the families, survivors and everyone affected by it and it was an honour to pay my respects.

As always, thank you for your continued support.



Matt Beard was speaking to's Steve Hunter



Facebook Twitter Email WhatsApp LinkedIn Telegram