- LCFC Women concluded 2021/22 by narrowly losing at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
- The Foxes finish 11th in their first Barclays FA Women’s Super League season
- Manager Lydia Bedford felt City deserved something from their trip to London
- She also reflected on her six months in charge of the team and surviving relegation
Assured of a place in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League for next season, following results elsewhere in the division in midweek, the message from the manager was to play with freedom when they arrived at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to face a side looking to confirm their own highest-ever finish of fifth.
There was nothing between the sides during a tightly contested first 45 minutes, with the visitors keeping it tight at the back as they aimed for a second successive clean sheet. Although the second period was similarly evenly matched, Ashleigh Neville’s header four minutes after the break proved to be the difference.
Speaking following the team’s final fixture of 2021/22, Bedford commended a solid performance in which the players applied themselves in the right way despite already knowing they would finish 11th in the final standings.
“I was really pleased with the resilience in our first-half performance,” she told LCFC TV after full-time on Sunday. “We went out unsure about what shape Spurs would turn out with and I felt we defended really resiliently in that first half, kept compact and created a few opportunities on the counter attack.
It’s crucial that in key moments like this next season, we’ll hopefully be able to turn that into a draw or maybe even go on and win it, but that’s a learning curve.Lydia Bedford LCFC TV
“In the second half we grew into the game more so and we knew that they played four games in two weeks so we felt we’d have that freshness to carry us in that second half. It’s disappointing to concede from a set play, but I'm really proud of what the players put in across the 90 minutes.
“I think if you looked at the number of chances created by both teams, it would probably be reasonably even, if not we might have pipped it in that final 15 minutes, which is pleasing. I asked the players to put a performance in today and play without any fear and they’ve done that.
“That was definitely the starting point. If you can be in the game then you’ve got a chance of going and winning it and I think if we have that mantra next season, we’ll be in a good place.
“It’s crucial that in key moments like this next season, we’ll hopefully be able to turn that into a draw or maybe even go on and win it, but that’s a learning curve. We’re pleased that we are competitive against teams like Spurs who have done fantastically well this season.”
Bedford Sums Up Spurs Game & The Season
LCFC Women manager Lydia Bedford gives her reflections to LCFC TV after a narrow defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the season.
Still searching for their first league win when Bedford took over in early December, City managed to survive relegation and collect 13 points during their debut season at this level.
Praising the players for their commitment to the cause, the former England youth coach also took time to look back on what she has personally taken away from her first experience of club management.
“The players have been fantastic,” the 35-year-old reflected. “They’ve bought into everything that we’ve asked. They’ve done tremendously well and it gives us a platform to build on next season in the WSL again.
“There’s been some ups and downs along the way but overall, I’m pleased with the work done to take it down to last week, which was really helpful in taking the pressure off today.
“It’s been a great experience, I’ve learnt a lot over the six months, tremendous highs and lows. I think you have to learn not to let the results that don’t go your way have an impact as a manager, because you’ve got to be able to pick everyone up come Tuesday.
“It’s been a fantastic learning curve. I’ve been very lucky; I’ve enjoyed it massively and I’m excited for what the future holds.”
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