Everton Ladies face Bristol Academy on Sunday looking to progress in the FA Women’s Cup.
Having dispatched Oxford United in last round, the Blues are in confident mood heading into their clash with fellow WSL side Bristol in the West Country.
Defender Alex Greenwood knows that Everton will have to be on top form if they are going to progress at the expense of a side that have used the off-season to strengthen.
“Bristol will be tough,” she said. “They are a WSL side and have brought in a lot of new signings. But that just makes me even more excited to face them.
“They have signed a couple of foreign players as well so that should be interesting to see. Their new striker Natalia comes with a big reputation from Spain so I’m excited to face her.
“I know Lucy Staniforth very well from the England Under-23s too. She is a very good player and a danger not only from set-pieces but from open play as well. She is one of those players who goes unnoticed and nobody realises the job she does.
“We know that she will be a threat but we have planned ways to stop her, like we have their other threats.”
The Blues will be buoyed by a successful return from facing Bristol last season, and Greenwood admits that will give them a boost, although thoughts of the final are yet to enter into the players’ minds just yet.
“We got some good results against them last season and that gives us confidence,” she added. “The last time we played them away I think we surprised them a bit. We took the game to them and were the better team.
“You do have the final in the back of your mind – that’s normal – but every session and every meeting we have we remind ourselves to take it one game at a time. We have to think of the game now because the final is another three games away.”
Such is the mentality of the squad, that Greenwood has fully recovered from her costly error in the Merseyside derby Continental Cup tie. A ribbing from her family certainly helped her get over it.
“Yeah it is well and truly out of my mind!” she laughed. “To be honest I had to get it out of my mind quickly and 10 minutes later it was. We all make mistakes at the end of the day and thankfully Nikita Parris helped me out!
“My family have given me a bit of stick but to be honest that just helped me get on with it. It’s football isn’t it? Things like this happen – it’s just unfortunate that it happened to me, in the derby, on TV! Got to do it in style haven’t you?!”
Something Everton will look to also do in style is compete in the league, which kicks off next Thursday for the Blues. For Greenwood, it can’t come soon enough.
“We can’t wait to get going,” she insists. “We have been counting down to the start of the league season and its finally here. We just want to get started.”