Matt Beard in charge of Bristol City with immediate effect as Tanya Oxtoby is on maternity leave

<p>Beard was West Ham boss until November</p>

Beard was West Ham boss until November

(PA)
10:46am, Fri 15 Jan 2021
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Former West Ham boss Matt Beard has taken over at Bristol City from Tanya Oxtoby while she is on maternity leave.

Oxtoby, who announced she was pregnant last month, will make way for Beard with immediate effect.

She said: “I know Matt well. At the forefront of my mind when I knew this process was going to start was the playing group and making sure the transition was as seamless as possible.

“The Board have decided Matt is the right person to come in and I’ll support him 100% however he needs, the players as well because I want them to reach their potential. I want us to stay in the Barclays FAWSL and I’ll support, however I can, to make that happen.”

Beard, who left the Hammers in November by mutual consent, will remain until the end of the season and is tasked with keeping City in the Women's Super League.

The club are yet to win a league match this season and are four points behind 11th placed Aston Villa.

Beard added: “I want to come in and make an impact straight away with the players, the staff and hopefully that impact can turn into results.

“I’ve got a great relationship with Tanya. She’s done a good job over the years here and it’s exciting for her to have her first baby. It gives me an opportunity to come in to hopefully turn things around in the league. I’m sure we’ll keep in contact over the course of the season.”

City had a boost from beating Villa 2-1 in the Continental League Cup to reach the semi-finals and Oxtoby and Beard alike will be hoping this begins a winning streak for the club.

They will play fifth place Everton in the league this weekend.

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