Liverpool Ladies: Injuries 'impacted' on season, says Beard

By Jo CurrieBBC Sport
Corina Schroder
Liverpool Ladies lost nine of their 14 games in WSL 1

Liverpool Ladies manager Matt Beard says his team's disappointing season was seriously impacted by the large number of injuries they sustained.

The club started 2015 as Women's Super League One defending champions, but picked up just four league wins from their 14 games and finished seventh, one place above relegated Bristol.

An extraordinary run of misfortune saw 15 first-team players pick up knocks, many of which were long-term.

"It's just bad luck," Beard said.

"The injuries have had an impact. It's one of those things, you can't legislate for all those injuries," he added to BBC Sport.

Liverpool also exited the FA Cup in the fifth round and were knocked out of the Continental Cup by Notts County in the last four on Sunday.

Liverpool's injury roll call - part one
Gemma BonnerAnkleStill injured
Martha HarrisFootStill injured
Kate LonghurstConcussion/Ankle2 weeks/Still injured
Libby StoutGroin/Shoulder1 week/Still injured
Danielle GibbonsKnee/Brain tumour1 week/5 months
Corina SchroderBack3 months
Fara WilliamsHamstring3 months
Ashley HodsonKnee3 months

Only five members of the first-team squad finished the domestic campaign unscathed - Natasha Dowie, Katie Zelem, Maz Pacheco, Hannah Dale and Rosie White.

England midfielder Fara Williams missed three months with a hamstring problem, while a knee injury ruled out Nigerian striker Asistat Oshoala for 10 weeks.

Goalkeeper Danielle Gibbons also underwent surgery to remove a benign brain tumour.

One positive saw the return of midfielder Lucy Staniforth who had been sidelined for 15 months with cruciate knee ligament damage.

Liverpool's injury roll call - part two
Asistat OshoalaKnee2 months
Becky EastonBroken arm2 months
Satara MurrayHamstring2 months
Katrin OmarsdottirConcussion1 month
Nicole RoslerThigh3 weeks
Ingrid RylandHamstring/Groin2 weeks/2 weeks
Line SmorsgardBack2 weeks

Liverpool play their matches on an artificial pitch at the Select Security Stadium but Beard dismissed fears this had been a factor, or that any of his physiotherapy team was to blame.

"They've nearly all been impact injuries," he added.

"I don't think we'd have finished seventh if we'd have had all the players that have been out injured, I think we would have finished higher up the league table."

With Liverpool's domestic season now complete, all attention is now on their Champions League last-32 second-leg tie at home to Brescia on Wednesday, where they will hope to overturn a 1-0 deficit.

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