Lydia Bedford

A Good Workout – Bedford’s Take On Pre-Season Opener

Lydia Bedford felt it was refreshing to see LCFC Women back out on the pitch as pre-season officially began with a closely contested battle against OH Leuven.
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- LCFC Women took on OH Leuven at Belvoir Drive on Wednesday
- The friendly encounter ended 1-0 to the visitors from Belgium
- Manager Lydia Bedford was pleased with aspects of the display
- City are three weeks into their pre-season schedule

Played in three 30-minute segments, Wednesday afternoon’s friendly allowed the Foxes manager to get a close look at how the squad is progressing over pre-season. New signings Josie Green, Aileen Whelan and Erin Simon were all involved, as was loan capture Carrie Jones.

There were also opportunities for Ava Baker, Monique Robinson and Mackenzie Smith to gain some game-time out on the pitch on the day the trio were announced as stepping up into the first team environment, alongside fellow youngster Sophia Poor.

Bedford told LCFC TV: “Today was a great opportunity for us to try lots of different players in lots of different positions together. We played the game in three 30 minutes to be able to rotate quite freely and it’s an opportunity to see the work that the players have put in over the last three weeks coming to light on the pitch.

“We were looking for all players to play a minimum of 45 to 60 minutes. A few players just slightly under that because of things we’re managing, but it’s great to see so many of them get minutes.”

Over in Leicester for a week-long visit, the Belgian side faced their English counterparts at Belvoir Drive, with the visitors coming out on top in the fixture courtesy of a single goal scored by Hannah Eurlings.

Plenty of chances were created at the other end, but City just could not beat Nicky Evrard in Leuven’s goal, though the former England youth coach was encouraged by what she saw in the final third.

“It’s perfect and perfect for us for the first run out of pre-season to be against a club who is part of our badge and under the same umbrella,” she continued. “It was really great for them to be the first opponent and a really good opponent in that.

I keep saying to the players that they’ve got to trust the process. The process is that they keep trying to play football.

Lydia Bedford LCFC TV

“From minute dot, you knew both teams were playing it as if it was a real game, which is great to see. You want that energy on the pitch, you want that intent in terms of what the players are doing.

“You watch our girls walk off, they are disappointed for the game to have finished 1-0, but we created more than enough chances to win the game and I think the crossbar and the post were probably our biggest enemy today, along with some good saves from their ‘keeper.”

Identifying several areas to work on, Bedford hopes the team will continue to execute the messages from the training pitch and translate that work into meaningful action on the pitch during the pre-season schedule.

Barclays Women’s Championship side Bristol City are up next in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Belvoir Drive on Saturday afternoon - in a 2pm BST kick-off.

Women

Bedford: An Opportunity To See The Work Put In

Lydia Bedford chats to LCFC TV after watching LCFC Women begin their pre-season campaign against OH Leuven.

The 34-year-old added: “We’ve got a couple more before we go on a team building event at the start of August, so I think it will be building on today in terms of our in-possession. We created a lot of chances in front of goal, and I’d like to see a few of those hit the back of the net come the weekend.

“But I keep saying to the players that they’ve got to trust the process. The process is that they keep trying to play the football that we’ve spent the last three weeks getting them to do.

“If they can take that into Saturday again, then that’s really key for us. But then equally put in a resilient performance out of possession as well.”

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