Beard feeling optimistic despite defeat at home

Liverpool boss Matt Beard was pleased with his team’s display against high-fliers Arsenal, despite falling to another loss.

Hammered 5-1 by Manchester City last Sunday, the Reds had another tough test when they entertained the third-placed Gunners.

But despite slipping to a 2-0 defeat – Vivianne Miedema and Caitlin Foord on target for the visitors – Beard was satisfied afterwards.

“I thought it was a better team performance this week than it was last week,” the Liverpool boss told UcLan Live.

“So there are positives that we can take.

“These last two games haven’t been definitive for us this season. We’ve now got a run of games that we feel we can pick points up in. We can draw the positives of tonight into the next week.”

The first 45 minutes at Prenton Park was a struggle for both teams, creating very little chances at either end of the pitch.

But Beard believed his side had a positive game until the visitor’s took the lead.

“I thought we had done okay,” said Beard.

“I thought we had the better chances first half. I think we defended the box really well and I think the goal changed the game to be perfectly honest with you. It was a great strike, but we need to shut that down quickly.”

Miedema registered her first goal back after her career-threatening ACL injury in a rather spectacular way. The Dutch international’s thunderbolt from outside the box shot flew past Rachael Laws in goal to break the deadlock for the away side on the hour mark.

Nine minutes later, Foord doubled the score line for Jonas Eidevall’s side. Unlike last week’s mauling at the hands of Manchester City, Liverpool did create their own chances but failed to convert them.

The 18-year-old Mia Enderby had a major opportunity of her own but she was denied by a spectacular stop from Arsenal keeper Manuela Zinsberger.

Liverpool manager Beard praised his side for producing a much-improved performance from last week’s 5-1 defeat at second-placed City – and believes there is an opportunity to string of run of results together in the next few games.

“I think that is the difference between the two games – we made the opportunities to score rather than the game before,” he explained.

“But I thought it was a better team performance this week than it was last week. So there are positives that we can take.”

He continued: “These last two games haven’t been definitive for us this season. We’ve now got a run of games that we feel we can pick points up in. We can draw the positives of tonight into the next week.”

The 46-year-old believes that time is what his side requires to continue competing with the top teams in the league.

Beard said: “Like I mentioned before, the last two games haven’t defined our season. I feel like we have closed the gap on the top three with where we are.

“If you look at that Manchester City team that we played last week, they are a team that has been together for a year and a half and we’ve had six months with a group of people that are still finding their feet.”

The head coach added: “It doesn’t happen overnight. We need to understand that we are going through a bit of a learning process, but we are still in a great position. We are where I thought we would be so it is two games that aren’t going to have an effect after the 22 (games).”

Liverpool are next in action when they take on Spurs – in sixth, a place behind them in the table – on Sunday.