Jonathan Morgan

Morgan: It’s Great To Return To Action

Jonathan Morgan says it was a welcome change to get back out on the pitch for the first time ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
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- LCFC Women began their pre-season fixture schedule by facing FA Women’s Championship side Liverpool Women
- Sunday afternoon’s friendly at Belvoir Drive involved minutes for all of the Foxes’ six new signings
- The 2021/22 Barclays FA Women’s Super League campaign begins on the weekend of 3-5 September
- Manager Jonathan Morgan spoke about the essential run-out and how the squad continues to plan for season ahead

LCFC Women played out a pre-season friendly with Liverpool Women at Belvoir Drive on Sunday afternoon, as the squad continue to plan and prepare for the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.

Speaking to LCFC.com, Morgan expressed his satisfaction at seeing the players effectively implement the game plan and come away with vital minutes in the tank.

“The girls have massively been looking forward to today for a long time and so to get it under their belts, they’re happy about it,” he commented. “It’s just nice to get a game of football going again.

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Georgia Brougham
Georgia Brougham

The newly promoted Foxes tackled Liverpool at the Club's training ground on Sunday.

“We’re really pleased with what we’ve done today. We’ve executed what we’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks in training and, for our first pre-season game, we’re quite satisfied.

“Players have been in and out for various different reasons as it is pre-season. We’ve changed our philosophy quite significantly this year as well so it’s for them to understand that.

“That’s obviously had an impact on players grasping what we want to do, but for the fact that they have got their first 90 minutes under their belts and the fact they’ve worked hard for it, it just gives us a really strong platform to move on from.”

Morgan saw plenty to be encouraged about during the run-out, praising the way the players have been able to get back into the rhythm of match action, with six new recruits appearing across the 90 minutes.

The manner that we played today and the style we played and the aggression that we used was fantastic and I think that’s only going to get better and stronger as we get more games in.

Jonathan Morgan LCFC TV

There was also a welcome return for forward Paige Bailey-Gayle, who played 45 minutes after a long injury lay-off that kept her out of the final months of the 2020/21 title-winning campaign. 

LCFC Women’s manager continued: “[The new signings have] settled in well, not just from a football point of view, but from a personality point of view as well. We really looked long and hard for people’s personalities this year. They’ve come in and gelled and I think that showed on the pitch today.

“Liverpool are a fantastic team, they are obviously going through a bit of a transition with Matt Beard coming in and he’s a fantastic coach who has done a lot with them already.

“It was early February that she (Bailey-Gayle) was out with that MCL and we’re delighted to have her back, she worked tremendously hard today and we’ve also tweaked her position as well.

“I think she’s going to frighten a lot of defenders next season if she keeps going in the same direction and keeps working hard.”

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Paige Bailey-Gayle
Paige Bailey-Gayle

Paige Bailey-Gayle got back on the pitch after an injury which ruled her out of most of the second half of the season.

With further pre-season friendlies in the offing, all focus remains on the opening game of the top-flight season on 3-5 September, with Aston Villa the Foxes’ first opponents next month.

“The girls have got Monday off, we’ve given them a recovery day and then back in on Tuesday as normal,” Morgan explained. “I’m looking forward to a different test and different challenges next.

“But we are going to go in and play the way we want to play, work on what we need to work on and hopefully highlight a few things that we can focus on. It’s going to be a long week ahead of us, lots of hard work and hopefully we’ll come out of the other side happy.

“The manner that we played today and the style we played and the aggression that we used was fantastic and I think that’s only going to get better and stronger as we get more games in because every game we get closer to our WSL debut, so it’s exciting.”

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