Bristol City boss Matt Beard - Photo: Chloe Knott for The FA

‘I’m here enjoying myself again’ – Bristol City’s Beard reflects on victory over Reading

Bristol City’s stand-in manager Matt Beard says that he has found enjoyment in football again after watching his side come from behind to beat Reading 3-2 at Ashton Gate last night.

The Robins secured a crucial three points in their campaign for survival in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, beating Reading 3-2 after coming back from one goal down at Ashton Gate. In his post-match interview, Bristol City’s stand-in boss Beard was delighted with how his side responded to surrendering the lead early on.

“More than anything else, I’m really pleased with the mental side of the game, because went behind,” Beard told Bristol City’s official media sources. “The first one was a preventable goal but we responded, we got back into the game and we got in-front.

“For me, that was the biggest part of the game tonight. They’ve worked hard over the last eight weeks since I’ve been in, they’re physically they’re fit now.

“I’m really pleased with the way they are playing, the togetherness and I thought the third goal was world class, the way we managed the game was excellent.”

Continuing to discuss Ebony Salmon’s winning goal, the stand-in Robins boss congratulated his players on reacting to Reading’s equaliser by searching for a winner instead of crumbling.

“There things we have spoken about, and things we have worked on,” Beard added. “Even in the Chelsea game, it was a tough game but we never let anything affect us, obviously the scoreline isn’t something we want.

“But we’ve drawn at West Ham, beaten Brighton and beaten Reading tonight, so we have seven points out of the five league games that I’ve got.

“For me, it’s really pleasing, just the direction the group is going is really fantastic.

“I did say after the game we have another three points onboard but we haven’t achieved anything yet because we still have seven league games left.

“From my perspective, we’ve given ourselves a great chance and we’re picking up points from teams in and around us and I’m really pleased.”

Beard was keen to compliment England international Salmon on her winning goal, which came from a stunning cross-field pass from substitute Abi Harrison.

“The pass was unbelievable, what a touch and what a finish” said Beard. “I’ve said it time and time again about Ebony Salmon, she’s more than a player that plays off the shoulder and I think that touch and finish optimises the quality of the player and the potential she has.”

After coming in to provide maternity cover for Tanya Oxtoby, Beard has admitted that he is delighted to be back in management and is thoroughly enjoying his time at Bristol City.

“It didn’t end the way I wanted to at West Ham,” he said. “I’m here enjoying myself again.

“I wasn’t happy at West Ham towards the end, I’m happy here. I’m really enjoying working with the players, the staff are a great group and I think it shows in the performances.”

Bristol City can now look forward to the FA Women’s Continental League Cup final on Sunday where they’ll come up against current trophy holders and Barclays FA Women’s Super League leaders Chelsea at Vicarage Road.

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