Liverpool Ladies buoyed by strong start to Spring Series

17 May 2017

Liverpool Ladies’ stars Siobhan Chamberlain and Shanice Van de Sanden have been encouraged by the Reds’ strong start to the WSL Spring Series.

The Reds are currently top of the table following an unbeaten start to the competition which started last month.

A 4-1 win in their first match of the series against Yeovil Town was backed up by further victories against Reading and Birmingham City.

The Ladies have only dropped two points in their opening four games and that was during a thrilling 4-4 encounter with Arsenal at the beginning of May.

That draw was the third successive game in which the ladies scored four goals and they have already netted on 14 occasions in their opening matches of the series – the best record in the league so far.

Understandably, Liverpool and England goalkeeper Chamberlain is delighted with the start and hopes her side can continue their impressive goal-scoring form.

“To be top at the moment and to be unbeaten as well, is just fantastic really,” Chamberlain told This Is Anfield.

“We have managed to get some great results and there have been some that we have had to work hard for because we didn’t have the best of performances throughout the entire 90 minutes.

“It was a frustrating game [against Arsenal]. After leading 3-0 at half-time and then having to pull it back was tough but it was also a positive to be able to do that in the second-half.

“It was frustrating we couldn’t hold onto the lead and take all of the three points but we showed great character to get back into the game.

Chamberlain added: “It’s definitely good to see us scoring lots of goals. The girls are always scoring against me in training and I shout at them for it and tell them to do it against the opposition, not me!

“So it’s great the amount we’ve scored and the fact they’ve been spread throughout the team. It was nice that Jess [Clarke] was able to score on her full debut too. That was fantastic for her.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 9, 2017: Liverpool Ladies players Shanice Van De Sanden, Kate Longhurts and Jess Clarke arrive on the red carpet for the Liverpool FC Players' Awards 2017 at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Striker Van de Sanden explained how the Ladies were keen to bounce back from their disappointing FA Cup semi-final exit against Manchester City just a week before the start of the Spring Series.

She hopes the Reds can continue to grow as the series goes on and the forward believes the introduction of a number of new signings has given Liverpool an edge.

“Everything in our preparation went really well. We’ve only drawn that one game against Arsenal so far so it’s been really good,” Van de Sanden told This Is Anfield.

“We watched replays of the game against Manchester City and we spent a lot of time together talking about the game afterwards.

“I think that’s why we have been playing better now because we looked back on it and we’ve been playing regularly since to try and improve.

“We’ve got a really good team for the season and we’ve perhaps got a little bit more quality now than what we did last year.

“I think that has been why we’ve started so well in the Spring Series because we’ve brought in that little bit extra.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 09: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Sophie Ingle of Liverpool Ladies after winning the Liverpool Ladies FC players' Player of the seaon during the Liverpool FC Player Awards at Anfield on May 9, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

The Reds have had plenty to be positive about following that FA Cup semi-final exit and their success was applauded at the Liverpool Player Awards last Tuesday evening.

Chamberlain was full of praise for Player of the Year Sophie Ingle and she hopes the midfielder will continue to be a key player as the pressure mounts in the Spring Series.

The Liverpool No. 1 also hopes to see more impressive performances from youngster Niamh Charles who has become a regular starter for the Reds this year.

“Sophie Ingle was very important for us last year and she’s sometimes been an unsung hero,” said Chamberlain.

“She’s been fantastic for us for quite a while now. Hopefully she can keep that going this season and we continue to do well.

“We’ve got a very young squad but Niamh [Charles] has been fantastic,” she added.

“In the last couple of games for us she’s done really well and it will be exciting to see what she can do going forward.”

Liverpool Ladies return to action on Wednesday evening when they play host to Sunderland AFC Ladies in the latest Spring Series fixture.

It’s the first of two matches within three days for the Ladies as they travel to take on Bristol City Women on Saturday where they hope to confirm their place at the top of the table for another week.

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