Another weekend loss for the Liverpool Women sees Matt Beard a little reflective in his column again. It was a rough one, losing after a questionable penalty awarded to Aston Villa and scored by Rachel Daly. The Red Women have the skill, and the know how, to win games, so it’s unfortunate to see them on this run of losses in the league. Another disappointing Sunday, when they deserved so much more.
“It was another frustrating day for us on Sunday and it was a game I felt we should have taken something out of,” Beard wrote in his weekly column.
“If I look back on the game, I don’t think we deserved to lose it. Unfortunately, it’s happened now on two or three occasions where we have done enough to get something out of the game and have got nothing to show for it. We just haven’t converted the chances we have created and that has been a problem for us.
“It was frustrating that the game was decided on a penalty decision I felt should never have been given, but at the same time we could have stopped the pass through. But at the end of the day, it was a frustrating afternoon for us.
“We wanted to be a bit more direct in the first 15 minutes because they have been pressing a lot of teams and we started to create a few really good openings.”
Beard did take the chance to praise some particularly important players to the match, including summer signing Emma Koivisto, who have been able to make the most of the necessary playtime while others are out with injury.
“Emma Koivisto came alive and she was a threat and had a really good chance to score. Emma is getting stronger with each game,” the manager continued.
“We were grateful to our goalkeeper Lawsy [Rachael Laws], who made a great save on the stroke of half-time when they had a one-v-one situation, but apart from that I didn’t feel they were that threatening to us at all really, so that’s the frustration.
“It’s just fine margins in this division, it really is, and you have to take your chances if you want to get something from the game. It’s not an excuse but we are without Ceri Holland, who has been excellent for us this season, and Leanne Kiernan, who was our top scorer last season, and any team would miss players of that quality.
“Missy Bo Kearns couldn’t start the game and was on restricted minutes. She had a scan in midweek but she was able to get some minutes on Sunday. She will now go on international duty and hopefully she will be OK.”
Beard then took the time to look ahead, accounting for those injury issues that have hampered the team so far, and how some key returned might help before traveling to Brighton the next match. As we’re all aware, Liverpool as a whole seems to be suffering from a bit of a snub from the football gods and goddesses and Beard made light of that as well, even with a small international break ahead.
“We’ve got a massive six weeks ahead of us now with regards to the fixtures that we have, but we just can’t afford to lose two players in the same position at the same time. That’s football and it doesn’t just happen to us. We’ve seen it with the men’s team as well and obviously Jürgen [Klopp] has lost key players as well, but it does have an effect,” Beard added.
“From my perspective, that is what you have squads for and we just have to get on with it and hope that the players will come back fine from the international break before our next game away at Brighton on Sunday November 20.
“Lawsy has a slight issue with her knee so it’s good that we will have the time now to get her right for the next game.
“Whether Shanice van de Sanden will be ready to start for us at Brighton, I’m still not sure. She is training one day and off the next at the moment so we have to be careful with her. We need to get the Achilles back to a level of tolerance where she can train fully. The main thing is we have her available for the games now and our medical team have worked really well for that to happen.
“I know this squad is good enough and I’m confident results will turn. I was hoping we could have got something against Aston Villa but we didn’t, it wasn’t to be and we have to keep working hard like we always do on the training pitch.”
Liverpool Women next play on Sunday November 20, following this international break, against Brighton.