ColumnMatt Beard on Sophie Roman Haug delight, Chelsea visit and injury latest
In his latest column, Liverpool FC Women manager Matt Beard reflects on the 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur and looks ahead to Saturday’s trip to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Barclays Women’s Super League.
Overall, we have to be pleased with a point in the end at Tottenham last Sunday, it was a tough game and a draw was a fair result.
We didn’t look our usual selves in the first half, but I think it’s the mark of a good team that when you don’t have your best performance then you still get something out of the game - it’s a sign we are doing something right.
I thought in the second half we finished strongly and if anyone was going to win it then maybe it was going to be us, but Tottenham have had a good start to the season and it’s a good point on the road.
We were disappointed we couldn’t get the win, but it’s one of those things and it just shows you how far we have come when we came away disappointed with a draw.
It was a great moment for Sophie Roman Haug to get her first goal for the club, though, and I am delighted for her. I think any centre-forward when they come into a new club puts themselves under pressure to get their first goal.
She had a tough start to the season with the injury she picked up on international duty and then having to wear a mask, but she’s kept her head down, kept working hard and getting herself into good positions.
Sophie was unlucky not to score against Leicester as their goalkeeper made some excellent saves. She put a chance over the top in the first half at Tottenham but then when it mattered she got our equaliser. I was delighted for her and she can relax now.
Strikers do put themselves under pressure to score goals and as I’ve said time and time again, we know what a good finisher she is.
We are still waiting for news on Mia Enderby, who had to come off at Tottenham, and we will assess that. She just rolled her ankle so hopefully she will be fine.
Unfortunately, we will now be without Jasmine Matthews for six to eight weeks with a grade two hamstring tear.
It’s a big blow as Jas is a fantastic player. I thought she was excellent against Leicester City and she did well against Manchester City in the Continental League Cup, but sadly it’s just one of those things.
The good news is our captain Niamh Fahey is in full training this week, so we lose one and get one back.
We are delighted to have Niamh back in the group and that is a boost for her and for us.
Emma Koivisto trained on Saturday. Tottenham was too soon for her, but she will be back available for this weekend, which is great.
We head to London again on Saturday as we face Chelsea (kick-off 1.30pm GMT). They have had a great start to the season, it’s going to be great to play at Stamford Bridge and we will go there with confidence.
We have done well on the road this year, we feel we are playing well and we definitely know there is more to come from us.
This game against Chelsea will be the ultimate challenge, of course, as they are a world-class side under Emma Hayes, who has done a fantastic job there.
Emma has announced that she will leave Chelsea at the end of this season and she has a been a fantastic servant to the club. I wish Emma all the best for her future, but I don’t wish her all the best for Saturday!
As I say, we are in a good place, we played well in the two games against Chelsea last season and we will give it everything that we have got.
Thank you, as always, for your continued support.
Matt Beard was speaking to Liverpoolfc.com's Steve Hunter