ITALIAN JOB CAN HELP THE REDS REIGN
IT’S been a year to forget on the domestic front for Liverpool, but goalkeeper Libby Stout says their upcoming Champions League tie can breathe new life into their campaign.
The back-to-back WSL 1 champions lie sixth in the table and Stout admits inconsistency has cost them.
But this week a new focus came to the fore, after they were paired with Italian side Brescia in the Champions League last 32.
And, having experienced a European adventure with the Reds last year – bowing out at the same stage to Swedish side Linkopings – Stout cannot wait for another taste of the action.
“I loved playing in the Champions League last year,” said the American. “There’s a different atmosphere about these games, they were my favourite ones to play in last year.
“I’m interested to see how the game is played in Italy and how well received it is. “There will be lots of excitement about the game. Liverpool has a following all over the world.
“Last year we played Linkopings and there was a Swedish supporters club that came, there were about 50 guys.
“At first I didn’t realise and I thought they were heckling us. But then they started singing about Steven Gerrard and You’ll Never Walk
Alone. It was great. “Hopefully we can get something similar in Italy. There is always a little group that follow us wherever we go.We are so grateful for the support.”
The two-legged tie is set to take place in October, following the immediate conclusion of the WSL season.
Surrendering their title will no doubt be painful, especially with all of the sides above them seemingly still capable of lifting the trophy.
But Stout admits the increased amount of competition this term is good for the game and she expects Liverpool, who took on Bristol Academy yesterday, to be as strong as ever in 2016.
“The difference this season, I think, is that other teams are better organised, players have developed and we have been inconsistent,” added the 26year-old.
“But next year there is no reason to think we can’t do better and be fighting for the title again.”
AIMING HIGH: Liverpool keeper Libby Stout CHAMPIONS: Liverpool Ladies’ Gemma Bonner holds the WSL trophy high