Liverpool women: Who could be Liverpool's next manager?

By Emma SandersBBC Sport
Carla Ward, Matt Beard and Tanya Oxtoby
Birmingham City manager Carla Ward (left), former West Ham boss Matt Beard (centre) and current Bristol City head coach Tanya Oxtoby (right) are all potential candidates

The hunt for a new manager at Liverpool begins following the departure of Vicky Jepson by "mutual consent" this week - so who could be in line to take the job?

Liverpool currently sit third in the Women's Championship following relegation from the Women's Super League last season, but there may be a few managers willing to drop down a division to take on the challenge.

The size of the club, its history within the women's game and the potential resources available, mean there is expected to be plenty of interest - so who is likely to be in the running?

Matt Beard

Matt Beard
Matt Beard won two league titles while at Liverpool

The most obvious candidate is ex-Liverpool and recent West Ham manager Matt Beard.

He managed Liverpool between 2012 and 2015, leading them to back-to-back WSL titles during a successful three-year spell.

Beard, 42, left to take over at Boston Breakers in the USA's National Women's Soccer League before joining West Ham, who reached the 2019 FA Cup final under his stewardship.

He has been out of a job since leaving the Hammers by mutual consent in November and a return to his former club, albeit in the Championship, should be appealing.

Carla Ward

Carla Ward
Carla Ward managed Sheffield United for two seasons in the Women's Championship

Birmingham City boss Carla Ward, 37, has been making an impression in her first few months in the WSL.

She took over in the summer on a two-year deal after leading Sheffield United to their highest finish in the Championship last season.

If Liverpool are looking for a manager with Championship experience, she would fit the bill having spent two seasons in the league with her former club.

Ward has had to deal with limited resources so far at Birmingham. When she arrived in the summer there were only eight senior players, and they have struggled to get a full squad out at times.

Despite that, she has led them to three wins from eight games in the WSL and they currently sit seventh in the table.

The opportunity to guide Liverpool back to the top flight, alongside the draw of increased resources and budgets, could be tempting for Ward.

She was a priority target for West Ham in November, who ended up appointing Olli Harder.

Tanya Oxtoby

Tanya Oxtoby
Tanya Oxtoby has been in charge of Bristol City since 2018

Another WSL manager who could be willing to drop down to the Championship is Bristol City's Tanya Oxtoby, 38.

Like Ward, she has been operating with limited resources.

Bristol City are currently bottom of the WSL, having picked up just two points from 10 games this season, so she could see the Liverpool job as an opportunity to build a long-term project with more financial backing.

However, Oxtoby announced in December she was expecting a son early this year so she might not be in a position to move to Liverpool straight away.

Who else could be in the running?

Current interim Reds manager Amber Whiteley could be in the conversation, given Liverpool have recruited from within in the past - as was the case with Jepson, when she took over alongside Chris Kirkland following Neil Redfearn's departure.

Former Tottenham head coaches Karen Hills and Juan Amoros are both without jobs.

And ex-Everton boss Andy Spence, who spent 14 years on Merseyside, has not been in club management since 2018 so could see this as an opportunity to return, although he is currently coaching within the Football Association.