Matt Beard on win at Bristol City, Höbinger shooting and system changes

ReactionMatt Beard on win at Bristol City, Höbinger shooting and system changes

By Chris Shaw


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Matt Beard praised the resilience of his Liverpool FC Women side after they dug in to secure a 1-0 away victory over Bristol City on Saturday.

The Reds marked their return to Barclays Women’s Super League action with a win as Marie Höbinger’s clinical 13th-minute strike separated the teams at Ashton Gate.

Beard’s side moved up to fourth in the standings as a result of the hard-fought success, ahead of Manchester United’s fixture on Sunday.

Post-match, the manager spoke to for his analysis of the encounter. Read the Q&A with Beard below…

On his assessment of the game…

Höbinger strike sends Liverpool fourth in WSL with win at Bristol City

Match reportHöbinger strike sends Liverpool fourth in WSL with win at Bristol CityLiverpool FC Women climbed to fourth in the Barclays Women’s Super League with a 1-0 win over Bristol City on Saturday lunchtime.

It was important to get three points. I think the biggest positive is the clean sheet. Performance-wise, a little bit inconsistent, I think our use of the ball could have been a little bit better. But Bristol City are fighting for their lives so we knew it was going to be a tough game.

I felt when we got in front we should have controlled the game a little bit better, it became too transitional for my liking. Second half, I think we probably should have been out of sight. But credit to Bristol City, obviously with the position they’re in they were fighting for everything and put us under a lot of pressure. And I think defensively, to be fair, we stood up to that. So, really pleased with that.

On whether there was a lack of rhythm due to a three-week break since the team’s last match…

Yeah, definitely. We changed the system today because when we have played Bristol City, the last two games it just hasn’t clicked in the 3-5-2. I felt the first half was too transitional. We controlled a lot of the second half without really being hurt. If you look at their best chance, it came from Paz [Lucy Parry]’s backpass and Teagan [Micah] stood up and made a great save. Apart from that, we sort of restricted them to set-plays and strikes from distance. It does have an impact, of course. But still, when we don’t have any pressure and we turn the ball over, we need to be a little bit better in those moments.

On Micah’s performance in goal, upon coming back into the XI…

I think for her there were three moments. Obviously the cross that came in and she was fouled. That save from Paz’s backpass. And I also felt her distribution at times was good. Just needed to mix it up maybe sometimes a little bit more. We’re conscious she’s got the Olympics, she has been patient this year, she has had a tough first year in the WSL. We spoke to Lawsy [Rachael Laws] in the week; Lawsy has been fantastic for us. So it’s great to have two goalkeepers of that ability and for us to be able to change it.

On the influence of Höbinger’s shooting ability…

100 per cent. As I’ve said before, she reminds me of Fara Williams, can play off right foot and left foot. I’d like her to shoot more. We said after the game jokingly, ‘See what happens when you shoot!’ You’ve got to remember she’s young, it’s her first season in England – it’s a tough league – and she has been great. Her set-plays are such a threat as well. I’m delighted for Marie. The great thing is she’s only going to get better.

On needing to utilise the squad with five substitutions on the day…

If you look at the players we brought on, Emma Koivisto, Ceri Holland, Mel Lawley, all experienced players. Gemma Bonner, and then Yana [Daniels]. It was a young line-up today. I don’t know what the average age was but it was a young line-up. I felt we needed to gain better control in the second half and I think we did that with the experience we brought on. It’s good for me because tactically we were a little bit flexible today – we started with 4-3-3 and went to a 3-5-2. There were a lot of positives from that.



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