Everton Women will look to get their season back on track when they take on Bristol City this weekend at Walton Hall Park.
The Blues go into the crunch clash with the WSL’s bottom club as the league’s lowest scorers with three but Dutch forward Katja Snoeijs insists that she plays better under pressure.
The Toffees top scorer last season has had a stop/start campaign so far with injury but has looked sharp when called upon, but knows that scoring goals is ultimately what a striker is judged on.
With Martina Piemonte arriving in the summer, coupled with the return of Toni Duggan from maternity leave, Everton’s current plight is a frustrating and baffling one, but the 27-year-old believes her focus must remain on getting chances and being in the right positions.
“I always perform better under certain pressure,” said Snoeijs. “Of course, you always need to find a balance in terms of making sure it’s healthy and you’re not getting too distracted or anxious.
“I always challenge myself a little bit, I just want to start better than I did last season and hopefully that will end up in more goals.
“In the end, scoring goals is the end product of what you do. As a striker, you can’t say you don’t want score goals, but you’re trying not to be too focused on it.
“Instead, be focussed on the chances and getting in the right positions, and then you can look at how the stats are at the end of the season.”
Brian Sorensen confirmed that centre-half Nathalie Bjorn is “back in contention” after returning to training yesterday earlier than expected Heather Payne, who received a knock to the ankle in Everton’s last outing against Chelsea, is expected to be fit for Sunday.
Elise Stenevik and Lucy Hope remain out.
Lauren Smith’s side will be looking to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa in their last outing, the result of which left the Robins bottom of the WSL.
City’s solitary win came on the road when goals from Brooke Aspin, Ella Powell and top scorer Amalie Thestrup saw them secure all three points against West Ham United.
Speaking about the challenge of Everton, Smith said:
“They really like to build up with the ball. I think that could go into our hands or against us at times, as long as we make sure we stay with our strengths. But they like to build through the thirds.
“I think the couple of games that we’ve watched them play, they’ve got really close to teams and narrowed score lines. It could be a very fair and equal game.”
Everton have played Sunday’s opponents 15 times in the league, winning five, losing seven with three games ending in a draw.
The Blues had no issues in their last home encounter with Robins, as an Izzy Christiansen double and strikes for Simone Magill and Meg Finnigan completed a resounding 4-0 win in January 2021.
And with only four points separating bottom from seventh in the WSL, Sorensen will be hoping for more of the same of what happened two years ago.