Everton Women manager Brian Sorensen says he’s pleased with his team’s season but is wanting the Blues to remain focused in their final WSL game of the season away at Manchester City.
Although they can finish no lower or higher than sixth place and the Dane has been reflecting on his first season in the division, a campaign where Everton have put themselves back in the reckoning as one of the best teams outside the top four. Though the Toffees record against the leading WSL quartet has been poor, Sorensen is urging his side to perform as well as possible against one of the WSL’s best teams.
“It has been our focus all along to perform well and we are looking forward to playing against a quality team like (Manchester) City,” he said.
“In terms of the season, we have improved in the second half from the first. The points we have gathered may have been the same, but the football we are playing is where we want to be. There are different areas that we need to improve and hopefully we can do that going into the new season.”
Sara Holmgaard is the only fresh injury concern having sustained a slight knock in the win over Brighton & Hove Albion. The defender is being assessed but remains a doubt.
Katja Snoeijs looks a certainty to start following her recent scoring form, while Izzy Christiansen and Rikki Sevecke will probably play some part following their recent announcements of retirement and departure.
Christiansen will bring down the curtain on a glorious playing career at the end of the season. The 31-year-old England international - who has enjoyed two spells with Everton - has been a WSL, FA Cup and Champions League winner, as well as PFA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year in 2016.
Sevecke moved to the Blues in the summer of 2020 and played a crucial role in Everton and recently reached 50 appearances in the WSL.
Paying tribute to both departing stars Sorensen said:
“Izzy has been both an excellent player and captain for us. A big player, I had the privilege to play against her when I was in Denmark where she was at her peak.
“She has been a wonderful player and person who has done so much for Everton on and off the pitch.
“We wish her all the best in what’s to come.”
On Svecke, she added -
“Rikki has been here for three years and wants to try something new. We have been speaking about this and it hasn’t come as a big surprise.
“I wish her the best, it has been a pleasure to work with her.”
A team packed full of quality, Gareth Taylor may well see fourth spot as a disappointment. One thing that hasn’t disappointed, though, has been Khadja Shaw’s goal return. THe Jamaican forward has netted an impressive 27 goals in all competitions this term and is also in double figures with assists.
Chloe Kelly also provides a fair bit of creativity for the Citizens and will be another Everton will have to keep quiet if they are to get a result in Manchester.
And with Taylor’s team losing their last two, including a Manchester derby, the pressure will be solely on them in this one.
An unfortunate Simone Magill own goal was followed by strikes from Ellen White, fromer Blue Alex Greenwood and Laura Coombs in last season’s corresponding fixture in what was a day to forget for Everton.
Sevecke was on target for the Blues at Walton Hall Park this season, but Shaw ensured that her team would be leaving with all three points in what was a competitive encounter.
Overall, Everton’s record against the Citizens is a dismal one but Sorensen is building a side that wants to make history and there is no better way to start than ending a hoodoo against one the best sides in the WSL.