Arsenal Ladies FC
Liverpool Ladies FC
Sun 23 September 2012
Boreham Wood FC
Arsenal v Liverpool preview
Gunners manager Laura Harvey speak ahead of her sides WSL home match v Liverpool Ladies and discusses the crucial matches to come.
By Nik Brumsack
Laura Harvey admits she will rotate her squad as Arsenal Ladies prepare for a run of six games in 17 days.
The Gunners' gruelling schedule takes in three league fixtures, as well as a double-header against Barcelona in the Champions League and the Continental Cup final against Birmingham.
Harvey says she will use her squad’s depth over the coming weeks to ensure the team achieves the best results possible.
“We have 19 players assigned to the first-team group and we’re going to try to utilise them as best we can over the next two weeks,” she told Arsenal.com.
“We’ve only got one injury at the moment so we’re almost at full strength. Kelly Smith has a quad strain but we’re hoping to have her back next week.
“With the run of games coming up, we’ve got to make sure we get maximum points and utilise the squad as much as possible. I want to make sure we’re all as fresh as we can be going into the back end of the season.”
Arsenal go into Sunday's game against Liverpool knowing a win could see them crowned champions if other results go their way. The Merseysiders are bottom of the table, but Harvey insists her team will not take the fixture lightly.
“I think they’ve performed better in the second half of the season since Matt Beard took over,” she said.
“They’re trying to play a bit more football and they’re becoming harder to beat. There’s been a bit of progression in the Liverpool side which I don’t think their results have reflected but has definitely shown in their performances.”
Arsenal are just three games away from going the whole league season unbeaten, but Harvey says their main priority is simply to retain the Women’s Super League title.
“If you get caught up with the unbeaten run, you take your eye off the most important thing, which is winning the league,” Harvey said.
“We want to keep our standards high and if we do what we need to do in every game, we’ll keep our unbeaten run going.”