A lot has been made of Liverpool’s well-documented relegation to the FA Women’s Championship but the Merseyside club have recovered well over the summer and are one of the firm favourites to achieve promotion this year.
Given the size of the club and it’s rich history, is there an added pressure on Vicky Jepson’s side to be competing in the highest tier of English women’s football?
After Liverpool’s 4-0 victory over Charlton Athletic at Prenton Park, forward Kirsty Linnett spoke to FA Women’s Super League Full-Time to discuss the club’s promotion claims.
“No one deserves to get promoted you have to work for it” she said. “There’s pressure on us but we’re just taking it one game at a time now.
“Our focus is to get those three points and move onto the next one as soon as we can to maintain the winning mentality and push on for the rest of the season.”
Linnett scored the final goal in Liverpool’s victory over Charlton Athletic on Sunday. The Reds had the second-lowest number of goals scored in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League last season and consequently, that has been identified as an area for improvement this season. Linnett stated “Our shot-to-goal ratio was better this week but again, can we create more, can we score more and can we push on from that performance?
“It’s all about setting our standards and pushing on from there.”
Teams often talk about only focusing on their own performances and the games that they can control. However, last season that control was taken away from Liverpool and they were relegated on a points-per-game basis. Relegation was always going to be a bitter pill to swallow but for it to happen in the manner that it did made it even harder for Linnett and her teammates.
Reflecting on the disappointments of last season, the player added “It was upsetting last year, the way it happened as well, it was out of our hands in the end.
“I feel like last year we did have them performances where we proved that we were good enough.
“Its happened and we’re dealing with it now and our main focus is to get promoted.”
Although the scoreline may suggest otherwise, it was far from an easy game for manager Jepson’s team with Liverpool being prevented from adding to their 2-0 first half lead by a stoic Charlton Athletic defence deep into the second half. They were eventually able to get the decisive third and fourth goals late in the match and Linnett stressed the importance of fitness and squad depth. “I think it’s vital, you want a bench to come on and get goals, it could come down to goal difference in this league, it’s really tight at the minute” said said “I think everyone has an important role in the team.”
Liverpool face some stiff competition for top spot in the FA Women’s Championship and are currently level on seven points with Sheffield United and Durham whilst Leicester City have a game in hand following their commitments in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.
Providing her analysis of the competition, Linnett added “I think every team we come across in this league is going to be tough to crack, a lot of them play banks of four or they sit behind the ball and it’s just about being patient and waiting for them chances to come.
“There’s some very good teams in this league. It just shows you how much women’s football has come on. The depth of talent is amazing.”
Up next for Liverpool is a trip to Coventry United as they look to continue their unbeaten start.