16 September 2012
Liverpool Ladies boss Matt Beard has outlined his plans to revamp his side's fortunes for the better next season.
With just two games left to play in the Women's Super League this term, the manager, who has only been in charge for a month, is in the process of assessing the current squad.
There is no relegation from the WSL this season, so Beard is relishing the opportunity to build a new-look LFC Ladies squad for the future.
"We've got two games to go in the season - away at Arsenal then at home to Doncaster Belles - and I have been assessing the current squad and seeing which areas of the team need improving," Beard told Liverpoolfc.com.
"I have got a strong idea now about who we will be looking at keeping at the club and who we will be releasing, but there are these two games left for players to force our arm.
"We are completely rebuilding Livepool Ladies. It will be an exciting few months after the end of the season with the players we are looking to bring in, as we need to be in a position to challenge the likes of Arsenal, Birmingham and Everton at the top half of the table rather than scrapping at the bottom.
"I wouldn't have relocated up to Merseyside from London if I didn't think that we had the tools to improve the ladies team at Liverpool. We have got fantastic training facilities, the Academy staff have been brilliant with us and in my opinion this is definitely the football club to be at.
"Instant success isn't going to happen overnight. Arsenal have had an established side for years and they signed some world-class players at the start of the season to add to an already strong squad, so it does take a little time.
"We are looking at bringing in players from abroad and not just UK based. The plan for next year is to build a squad that is capable of challenging at the top."
Reflecting on his first month in the job, Beard admits results have been indifferent with defensive and fitness issues being a main catalyst for that.
He added: "In the two friendly games I saw the team play prior to taking this job, fitness was a big problem and I could count on one hand the amount of players that were at the fitness level required to play in the Women's Super League, which was disappointing to see.
"I haven't got a recognised centre-back at the club and that is one of the big reasons why we have been conceding a lot of goals, so it's been a case so far of having to work with what we have got.
"From the three league games we have played since I came in I think we are making progress slowly but surely, and the fitness is improving.
"The players are working hard for me and they have been unlucky with some of the results, apart from some of our defending during the 5-2 defeat by Birmingham last Sunday. That was the most disappointed I have been so far to be honest.
"We created so many chances against Birmingham but didn't take them and then conceded some bad goals.
"We played really well against Everton and should have won but lost the game when they scored twice in extra-time.
"Going forward, we are looking good but it's just defensively that we are struggling and we will sort that problem."
Beard strengthened the back line last week when he signed goalkeeper Sarah Quantrill from his former club Chelsea.
Explaining the reason for the capture, Beard added: "Aroon Clancy has been struggling throughout the season with an injury and Nicky Davies strained her back last week and is away now with the RAF, so we needed another stopper.
"Sarah is a fantastic goalkeeper and she has got a great future in the game. I am delighted she is on board with us because I think she will be one of the best goalkeepers in the country in the future.
"She reminds me a bit of Pauline Cope, who was the best goalkeeper the women's game has ever produced."