Brian Sorensen praised the contribution of fellow Dane Sara Holmgaard as the Everton Women defender made her first start for the Club after a sustained period on the sidelines.
The former Fortuna Hjørring star, who was also a substitute in the defeat to Manchester United in midweek, managed over 50 minutes from the off against Chelsea on Sunday and gave supporters a taste of what they have been missing.
Though both games ended in defeat, the performance against Emma Hayes’ side was greatly improved to that at Leigh Sports Village, with the Blues boss feeling that his side were unlucky to go in at half-time behind, following a number of good chances and a Justine Vanheavermaet ‘goal’ being ruled out for offside.
The return of players like Holmgaard, and her twin Karen, will be of huge importance to the manager as he looks to turn around a start that has yielded just one win in six league games and two League Cup defeats.
But Sorensen was quick to praise his side’s performance even in defeat, with special mention for the returning 24-year-old, as he also acknowledged the quality of opposition his team were up against at Walton Hall Park.
“We know Sara. It’s been tough for her being out for so long but that is why we couldn’t take the risk of playing her more because we need her for the rest of the season.
“She was brilliant when she played. Her tenacity in dealing with pressure was top notch. Not just her, I also thought Clare Wheeler did on the other side.
“She is playing out of position against a really good team. They are a top team and can make subs like Lauren James and Fran Kirby, but we made a game out of it.
“Perhaps we lost a bit of energy towards the end and they didn’t have to play as much.
“When you lose that bit of energy you aren’t quite as brave but that us where we are and we have to take it from there.”
Speaking after the match to evertontv, Holmgaard revealed that she is raring to build on the performance and feels her teammates can take confidence into their next game, a crunch match at home to the WSL’s bottom side, Bristol City.
“I’m stronger than ever now and hopefully people could see that against Chelsea. I’m ready to get more minutes and continue to build back up.”
“We showed what we’re capable of, we just need to score when we get our chances.
“We could have been ahead if we were a bit calmer, but the performance we can be proud of.
“We know Chelsea are a good team, so we take confidence into our next games after the way we performed against them.
“The first half especially, we need to build on from that and then wins will come in the next games, 100-per-cent.”
Everton will return to Walton Hall Park on Sunday, 19 November. Tickets are available and can be purchased here.