Bristol manager Beard hopeful of Salmon’s England progress and reckons ‘tough game’ pressure is on rivals

MATT BEARD thinks Ebony Salmon’s “raw talent” could see the Lionesses starlet excel on the international stage. 

And the Bristol boss reckons his relegation rivals will be feeling the heat with tricky clashes facing West Ham and Aston Villa.

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Matt Beard thinks Bristol have an advantage with their game against Reading taking place after their rivals’ matches[/caption]

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The Robins are looking to pick up their second win in the Women’s Super League this season[/caption]

Beard was speaking ahead of the Robins match with Reading taking place a day after the Hammers host Arsenal and Villa travel to Man United. 

And the interim Robins boss believes the result against Royals will not be vital to Bristol’s top-flight survival despite them being bottom. 

Beard, 43, said: “We know we need to pick points up because we’ve only got eight games left. 

“But it’s not vital in the sense that if we don’t get anything out of it that it puts us in a lot of trouble.

“There are a lot of tough games for the teams in and around us so we’ll be in a better position, knowing what’s going to happen on Sunday going into that game on Monday. 

“I think for us psychologically it’s a benefit. And I think if you look at the results from last weekend in some of the catch-up games, obviously everyone around us played an extra game and nobody got any points”.

Bristol, who are 12th, have played one game more than Villa and West Ham who are tenth and eleventh. 

Their clash with the Royals comes almost two weeks after Robins ace Salmon made her senior England debut in the Lionesses 6-0 drubbing of Northern Ireland. 

PA:Press Association

Ebony Salmon will return to action for Bristol after making her senior England debut[/caption]

And the former Man United striker, 20, who left the Red Devils for Bristol in 2019, is said to have made a good impression on England Women’s coaching staff. 

Beard added: “The thing with Ebony is she’s such a raw talent with her pace and our power.

“They (England’s staff) wanted to know whether I felt she was ready. 

“And of course I let them know that she could play not just down the middle but also wide. 

“We’re putting a plan in place for her to make sure that she continues to be considered. But the feedback I have had is that she has done well.”

A Conti Cup final date with Chelsea is up next for Bristol after they host Reading. 

The clash at the home of Watford will be the first league cup final for Bristol in their 23-year history. 

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Salmon and her Bristol team-mates are due to play Chelsea in the Conti Cup final[/caption]

And it is a match Salmon, who has scored five times in 14 league games, is aiming to give her all in alongside her team-mates.

Salmon said: “The results that we’ve got in the Conti Cup have given us the confidence and momentum that we needed to go and push on in the league which we’ve been doing recently.  

“We’ve got a few results and we’ve picked up points. I think, for us, just the opportunity of taking part in a cup final is going to be huge. 

“And I think the confidence and just the experience of that is really going to help us in our push to stay in the league.”

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Source: The Sun

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