This Sunday the ladies in red travel to Lincoln to play in the first game of the WSL season.
I answered a few great questions on Lincoln Ladies supporter Adam’s preview blog which you can find below, and was supposed to do my own but I think his covers all corners!
AB: Liverpool have played three games so far and have won two and drawn one. How do you rate the performance of the side so far in this early stage of the season?
HC: Liverpool are in good form going into the season, a convincing 5-0 win at Aston Villa and a 2-1 victory away at Sunderland. However the game we drew at home against Everton is probably a more realistic view of where we are at the moment. We started well against Everton and if it were not for a couple of great saves from Rachel Brown we could have been 2-0 up going in at half time! We were a bit unlucky with the dubious decision that led to their goal and without that I think we could have gone on and got a hard earned victory.
AB: You have been by far the busiest club in the transfer market over the winter months. Which signing has most excited the fans?
HC: To be honest all the new signings have stirred excitement amongst supporters. They are a real statement of intent from the club alongside the integrating of the Women’s team into a bigger part of Liverpool Football Club as a whole.
The signings from Everton are huge for us, in particular Fara Williams who is a proven goal scoring midfielder in the WSL. Williams got a hat trick in her competitive debut for us which is great to see.
Whitney Engen is the biggest signing for us in my opinion; a fantastic centre back who I believe will be first choice for the USA in the coming years. If Engen and Gemma Bonner can form a successful partnership in the heart of our defence it will bring the stability that we have craved in the last couple of seasons.
AB: How has the move to a new stadium gone down with the supporters? The ground at Widnes is certainly a huge improvement from last season and you had a very good crowd in for the Everton match.
HC:Halton Stadium is a vast improvement from last season, a lot more accessible and appealing than being in Skelmersdale! The buzz around the new signings and the media coverage we seem to be getting should mean that the numbers through the gate will go up. Given that the game against Everton last month had such a good crowd despite the terrible weather conditions is a great indicator for the season ahead.
AB:Where do you expect Liverpool to finish this season in the league? And do you think there is added pressure on the club given all the signings made in the winter?
HC: Matt Beard has said the minimum target this season is a top four finish and while I feel this is a more realistic expectation if the team can settle quickly and get a good run of results together to get some momentum going I see no reason why we can’t at least challenge at the top of the table. Not saying I expect us to be winning the league straight away but to be up there and challenging for honours would be great for both the club and supporters after the last couple of seasons.
The pressure is on the players to perform especially with the aforementioned media coverage, it kind of feels as though everyone is watching us to see what happens. Hopefully that pressure is something the girls can thrive on.
AB:And finally could we have a prediction for this weekend’s game from you please
HC: The fixture has given us a lot of goals over the last two seasons however with both teams having strengthened at the back – Karen Bardsley being a great signing for you and our new centre back pairing of Engen and Bonner I can see this game being a tighter affair. I’m going to sit on the fence and go for a 1-1 draw!