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The Beard Report: We’ve Set Ourselves A Standard

The streak goes on, as Women’s manager Matt Beard analyzes the win against Blackburn Rovers.

Liverpool Women v Blackburn Ladies - FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Things are quite good for the Women’s team at the moment. Liverpool Women claimed victory on Wednesday evening against Blackburn in the latest group stage match of the tournament thanks to goals from Jade Bailey and Taylor Hinds, although the clean sheet eluded them. 11 matches unbeaten, top of the league table and top of their group in the Continental Tyres Cup - not much to complain about, honestly.

Unless you’re Matt Beard, in which case part of your job is to, well, look at things that one could complain about and work to change it.

“We’re a little bit frustrated with the performance, to be honest, especially second half. It felt like a training game at times but we’ve got to be better in those moments,” Beard said in his post-match interview.

“We’ve got to be better at keeping the ball and forcing turnovers. We put ourselves under pressure in the last five minutes when we didn’t need to. That’s really frustrating. But, look, it’s another win. I’m delighted we scored off a set-play because we’ve been working so hard on them. It’s great to get two goals off set-plays, I thought both deliveries were excellent.”

The Reds also had plenty of chances to score more, that unfortunately didn’t go their way, although Beard recognized the work that went into creating those chances.

“Ash [Hodson] should have converted that one early as well. But the main thing is we’re getting on the end of them; as I said, we’ve been working hard in training on the deliveries and the areas we’re attacking. So, to get the reward off that tonight is really, really pleasing,” the manager continued.

“I’m frustrated because we’ve set ourselves a standard. We can’t turn the ball over like we did tonight in the second half because we’ll get punished against better teams.

“For me, the important thing is that we’ve won – we haven’t performed at our best but we’ve still got the win.”

The manager also used the evening as an opportunity for some rotation, giving the rest of the squad some time to rest and/or get some minutes. Missy Bo Kearns was named captain for the evening and Hannah Silcock made the most of her chance in central defense, that Beard made sure to recognize as well.

“To be able to have the strength in depth we’ve got within the squad is something we looked at in this recruitment process. Players have stepped in and we’ve got another three points tonight – that’s seven in this group, so it puts us in a great position,” the manager said of the rotation.

“[Hannah]’s going to be a player. She’s so composed on the ball. I’m really pleased with how she’s progressing and in both of her games in this competition she’s been brilliant.

“[Missy Bo]’s a great kid, she’s a talented player. We’re working and she deserves it. Really pleased with how she’s progressing.”

The Women play again on Saturday, traveling east to Sunderland to hopefully maintain this streak.