Walker: Keep The Focus On Us

Everton Ladies need only focus on themselves when they take on newly-promoted Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday at the Select Security Stadium.

That's the view of striker Claudia Walker, who admits this week has been spent doing homework on the Seagulls, who reached the second tier of the ladies game after seeing off Sporting Club Albion in the Premier League play-offs between the respective North and South Division winners.

Brighton currently sit on six points from their six WSL Spring Series games so far, with a win over Watford and draws with London Bees, Oxford and Millwall Lionesses under their belts.

Walker anticipates a tough fixture on Sunday, but says Everton are itching to bounce back from a frustrating draw with Doncaster Rovers Belles in their previous outing.

“In this league, it is always competitive, so even though Brighton are a new team, we know what to expect,” she said. “No matter what Brighton have, we have to make sure we give our maximum performance and do as well as we can. We need to make sure we prepare as hard as we can.

“We were disappointed to only come away with a point from Doncaster. We set the standard in that game so it was frustrating to only draw, especially after taking a 2-0 lead in the first half.

“That result has driven the motivation and the work rate in training this week to improve and make sure we do give that big performance against Brighton. We want to build off the good elements from the Doncaster game, make sure we repeat them, but also learn from our mistakes.”

Everton themselves have 10 points on the board, following wins over Oxford, Sheffield and Aston Villa, plus the point at the Keepmoat Stadium last weekend.

The Spring Series offers teams a chance to learn about their league opponents ahead of the full WSL 2 campaign starting in earnest in September.

Walker admits the Blue Girls have taken confidence from their performances so far and hope to continue in that vein to put themselves in a strong position later this year.

“The Spring Series has shown how competitive the games are and that we should expect a physical battle in every one,” she added. “But we have taken a lot of confidence from the good run we have been on so far. It has not been perfect – because we wanted to win every game of the Series – but we have been unfortunate not to do that.

“Some of the performances have been the best we have produced while we have been in WSL 2, so we have to keep building on that. If we can do so then we will be in a great place come the real season in September.”

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