'More To Come From Blue Girls'

by Jack Matthews

Andy Spence insists even more is to come from Everton Ladies after their 4-0 victory over Oxford United.

The Blue Girls gave themselves an excellent chance of progressing to the quarter-finals of the Continental Cup with success at the Select Security Stadium on Thursday night, their third group-stage win from four matches in the competition.

Chloe Kelly hit a hat-trick and fellow forward Claudia Walker netted the other goal to follow up Everton’s 2-0 victory at Yeovil on Saturday, their first of the season in WSL1.

But despite the positive run of form, boss Spence expects improvements from his young side.

“The girls understand we are trying to build an identity of what our team looks like and we know we didn’t look like the same team in that first half against Oxford than in previous games,” he said.

“The girls took it upon themselves to respond and they did, which is great because the second-half display is what I want to see because they make me smile!

“I’m big on making sure we get regular, consistent and top performances because I do believe if you stay strong to the process then you will get results and ultimately we did tonight, which I am delighted with.”

“From our point of view, in the first half we were slow and second best, not on our normal front foot but in the second half we got a good response and the goals started to come. There was better pace to our play and we were more ruthless with our finishing.”

The win took Everton one step closer to the quarter-finals, all but securing qualification to the next round. Being on nine points with a positive goal difference has put the Toffees in good stead for progression.

“It looks like we have come out of the toughest group,” added Spence. “We have finished our games now and have nine points which is a good return given we have faced Manchester City, Birmingham City, a strong Doncaster side and a good Oxford side so I think this is the hardest group to get out of.

“We are waiting on results and we won’t be considering ourselves into the quarter-finals until those final round of games have been played but nine points and a decent goal difference - I couldn’t have asked for much more.”

Spence also pointed to the impact of substitutes Jodie Brett, Olivia Chance and Siri Worm against Oxford, reiterating the strength in depth he has in the squad.

“I thought the substitutes were excellent,” he said. “Jodie Brett, who has not had many minutes of late, came on and transformed the game for us. I’m delighted for her and that shows the power of the squad which is great.

“I know the girls are disappointed when they are sat on the bench and not starting but tonight has reassured me we have a really good squad and to see Jodie come off the bench and do what she did was great to see, and obviously Liv [Chance] and Siri [Worm], too.”

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