Not long ago this writer said she couldn’t write another losing recap for the Liverpool Women, and then they went and drew a couple games to finally get out of relegation. That, unfortunately and unsurprisingly, only lasted so long as the Liverpool FC Women lost to Brighton on Sunday. New year, same losses, so time to focus on the positive.
While they were announced a whole month late for reasons unknown, Liverpool announced on Friday the recipients of the Standard Chartered Player Of The Month for the Liverpool Women’s team. Midfielders Kirsty Linnett and Jade Bailey were the winners for October and November, respectively, for their contributions including Linnett’s first hat trick for the club following the shift in position to a number 10 for the Reds.
“I’ve loved every minute of playing in the new position,” said Linnett of the new role. “It’s all about getting the collective performances now, individually it doesn’t really matter.
“Our performances were there and now it’s about adding the points – and we got a big one against Chelsea before the break. We’ve got a good team but the points we’ve got in the table don’t reflect how we’ve been playing.
“January will be massive as we’ve got a couple of six-pointers in there. We know what we need to do and now it’s about doing our talking on the pitch and putting on performances out there.”
Bailey received the November award for her performances in the middle since her move from Chelsea in the summer.
“It took me a couple of games to get used to the tempo of the league again but I think I managed to push on and progress, and I think that showed in some of my performances,” Bailey said.
“I feel fitter and stronger playing week after week. Playing alongside Razza [Rhiannon Roberts], we’ve got a good balance and we now know what works well for each other. Now we’ve built a good foundation to push forward.
“Now it’s about getting points on the board and it’s a really big month for us.”
It might sound like a broken record at this point, but Liverpool Women’s woes don’t lie solely with it’s immensely talented players. Sure these awards, late and clearly forgotten by the rest of the club, are handed out specifically by a club’s sponsor and are voted on by fans but that last part is important. They are voted on by fans that spend their time and energy and money to support this team when... well, no one else will.
Manager Vicky Jepson expressed her support for the players and praised their encouraging performances, including Linnett’s shift forward, through what has been a tough season.
“She’s [Linnett] worked hard in nailing that position down and learning it at this level. She’s certainly not been given the shirt, she worked tirelessly hard to get it and she’s performed well in games, with her hat-trick the obvious highlight,” Jepson said.
“Jade is a young midfielder who has a really big role within our club. She’s lived up to all our expectations and I think there’s even more to come.
“Her out-of-possession qualities have certainly improved in this squad and that was shown in the games throughout November. So massive credit to Jade and I look forward to what we’ll see from her in the months to come.”
There’s still time to salvage the season and stave off relegation, and the skills and the talent there to support it, and Kirsty Linnett and Jade Bailey are proof of that.