Matt Beard: FA Cup is ‘going to be our only opportunity for silverware, so we want to progress and go as far as we can’

After registering an impressive 4-1 win on the road against Aston Villa last weekend, Liverpool manager Matt Beard spoke to the media ahead of his side’s Adobe Women’s FA Cup quarterfinal against Leicester City.

Last weekend’s emphatic win over Aston Villa left Liverpool level on points with fourth-placed Manchester United, continuing their great run of form coming into the business end of the season. Beard spoke on how happy he was with the performance and the improvement of his side this season, both in front of goal and in terms of their away record compared to last season.

‘It was a good performance, from start to finish we were in control of the game I’ve said before that it’s good we have goals all over the team this year there are lots of people that are contributing to goals which was obviously something we wanted to address from last year. Good performance – it’s not easy to win on the road, so to go to Aston Villa, who were in good form up until that day, it was a good team performance.’

‘I think we were a little bit unlucky last year in some of the games to not get all three points in, but it’s a different season and different team. We are really happy with our away form, hopefully, it will continue.’

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The improvement of Sofie Lundgaard this season has been hugely important for Liverpool, and Beard praised her professionalism both on and off the pitch. 

‘She’s been patient, that’s for sure. I think it was tough for her last year coming in mid-season, and obviously at that point, we were in a relegation battle. It was tough for the first six months, she’s gone away and been with her family over the summer, she’s come back and been fantastic.’

‘We have great competition in that area of the pitch, I go back to that Everton performance and I think that was her best performance in a Liverpool shirt. She’s been very professional and took her chance last weekend.’

Grace Fisk’s first Liverpool goal last weekend topped off what has been an excellent debut campaign on Merseyside, with Matt Beard believing that her form should be catching the attention of England boss Sarina Wiegman. 

‘It’s always pleasing when a player gets her first goal for a club, especially on set plays where Grace is attacking a lot of them. It’s like she’s been here forever, she’s a wonderful person and is fitting in with the group really well. I personally think her performances warrant maybe England considering her – that how good she’s been for us this year. She’s a very technically gifted footballer. She can play, she reads the game well and has been a great addition.’

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This weekend’s quarterfinal against Leicester City represents a big opportunity for this ever-improving Liverpool side. Avoiding Chelsea and both Manchester clubs, while also getting a home draw, will no doubt give Liverpool a lot of confidence that they can continue this cup run – and Beard hopes that his side can finish this season off with the club’s first-ever FA Cup.

‘We’re looking forward to it, looking forward to playing at home. We’re in good form at the moment so we’re confident and feeling good, so we want to make the home advantage count. We know Leicester are a tough side to play against, they’re very front-footed and aggressive, so we have to be prepared for that part of the game tomorrow.’

‘We want to progress, I’ve been involved in many cup finals during my time at Charlton with Keith Boanas, obviously at West Ham, and also at Chelsea so it’s a competition that we really want to do well in and it’s going to be our only opportunity for silverware, so we want to progress and go as far as we can.’

Liverpool host Leicester City in the Adobe Women’s FA Cup quarterfinal on Saturday 9th March, with kick-off at midday.