Matt Beard targets win in 150th WSL game at Man City as he praises Jack Sullivan

Matt Beard will take charge of his 150th WSL game this weekend when Liverpool host Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime.

And with the precarious world of football management and budgets accelerating in recent years, Beard joked that he wished fellow league gaffers Emma Hayes and Gareth Taylor got an understanding of the ever-evolving pressures of being rigorous in financial planning.

The experienced 46-year-old has been around the block in the English leagues since his first foray in 2008 at Millwall Lionesses with stints at Chelsea, his first spell at Liverpool in 2012, Bristol City, West Ham and back to Merseyside a few years ago.

With that comes headaches when trying to recruit a certain calibre of player but when trophies and cup finals come your way at the end of the season, that’s what delights the Englishman. Only Hayes has managed more games across the league.

Liverpool head into this weekend’s assignment 14 points behind Man City and when asked if it was their remit to be challenging for the top four, Beard admitted so.

Speaking about his 16 years in management and looking ahead to this weekend’s clash at Prenton Park, Beard said: “There’s been loads of memories, I’ve been very lucky to work at numerous clubs with different budgets which I think has helped shake how I am now.

“When I look back to working with Bristol City on an interim basis and working with younger players and the talent pool for these young players – I’ve played young players wherever I’ve been but it was eye opening.

“That within itself was a fantastic achievement if you look at where we were when I went in and some of the performance levels we produced – we never quite got there and it was a tough challenge.

“Winning the league title with Liverpool’s obviously going to be my main highlight, taking West Ham United to Wembley I guess was written in the stars with the documentary that was happening, I’ve got so many highlights.

“Over the time you’ve highs and lows, I’ve been to cup finals, I’ve won and lost some, some managers and players go through their whole career and not win anything so I’ve been quite fortunate.

“I always go back to the Bristol City example, they probably had the smallest budget in the division, struggling year on year, we went on a little run and if your together as a club then you can achieve anything.

“It would be great to see Emma Hayes, Gareth Taylor that have been at big clubs and spend a lot of money and see how they would do at that level with no money – it would be interesting to see.

“I’ve got so many learning experiences, Jack Sullivan (Director at West Ham United) was 18 or 19 at the time but was really good at what he done, there’s been so many experiences which shapes how I manage and coach.

“We want to finish as high up the league table as we can, when we built this squad last summer knowing it was a young squad we had some fantastic experienced players who could help the youngsters coming through.

“We knew we was going to be exciting to a certain extent. Have we overachieved? Maybe.

“We’ve worked incredibly hard on the training pitch every day – now we want to stay there and taking it game-by-game.

“We’ve shown over the last year and a half that we can beat anyone on our day, we want to win on Saturday and we’ll be set up to try and do that.

“We know on our day we can beat anyone, Man City are in good form at the moment, especially in the league so we know it’s going to be a tough game.

“We don’t fear anyone, the biggest thing we’ve spoken about this week is the consistency in what we do but we’re looking forward to the game and it will be good for the neutral.”

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