Everton Ladies head coach Andy Spence says his team are working towards reaching the level of Saturday night’s opponents Manchester City.
The Citizens have enjoyed plenty of success in recent years, lifting the WSL 1 title in 2016 and the FA Women’s Cup back in May, when they beat Birmingham City at Wembley.
The Blue Girls, meanwhile, have recently transitioned into a full-time professional club and brought in seven new players over the summer to continue an evolution that Spence hopes sees them catch up with their rivals.
“We want to be better than Manchester City in the future but we know we are not there right now,” he told evertonfc.com. “It has taken them a number of years to build themselves up to the point where they are today. We look towards City as a club that we can aspire to be better than in the future.
“Saturday is a great opportunity for our players to go up against girls who are regularly playing at international tournaments or, as they did this week, in the Champions League against some of the best in Europe. It gives us an opportunity to test ourselves and go into the game with no fear and to see where we are at as a squad.
“The girls are looking forward to that challenge, which is obviously great to see. We are a team with a lot of talent. We have young players who want to be those established stars, and if we keep pushing each other in training and working hard, then there is no reason why we can’t be those recognised stars of the future.”
Everton are looking to put their first points on the board on Saturday after a difficult start to their WSL 1 campaign. Defeats to Liverpool and Birmingham have been tough to take, but the second-half performance against the latter has given Spence plenty of confidence that results are right around the corner.
“Training this week has been about looking to build off that second-half performance against Birmingham, and we have had a good response from the girls,” he added.
“That game as a whole showed us that if we play poorly, like we did in the first half, we’ll get what we deserve. However, when we play with a good intensity and confidence, then we look like a side that can go anywhere and show the best of ourselves.
“So there has been a good feeling in training this week and we have certainly taken a great deal of belief and confidence from that second-half display against Birmingham.”