Fit-Again Finnigan Eyeing Reading Revenge

Megan Finnigan intends to do everything she can to avoid a repeat of the last time Everton Ladies faced Reading, as the two sides prepare to lock horns on Sunday.

The 19-year-old was forced to watch from the sidelines due to an ankle injury as the Blue Girls were cruelly beaten by the Royals on penalties in the Continental Cup quarter-finals back in December.

But, now fit and established back in the team, Finnigan is keen to earn a measure of revenge against the Berkshire outfit. 

In their previous two outings, the Toffees pushed title-challengers Chelsea all the way before finally succumbing to a narrow 1-0 defeat away from home, before coming from behind to knock Bristol City out of the FA Women’s Cup last week in a 3-1 win, and Finnigan is hoping for another top performance on Sunday.

“We don’t want a repeat of the last time we played Reading, but I think we can take confidence from that Continental Cup game before Christmas,” she told evertonfc.com

“I thought it was a really good team performance and we were unlucky to lose on penalties. But we are going into these games full of confidence.

“We thrive off the fact that some don't expect us to do well. Some of the big sides expect to put five or six past us but we have shown we can compete with the best with our performances. We want to start getting the results now and what better way than to start at the weekend.

“It gave us huge confidence that Chelsea were rattled by us and I don’t think they knew what to do. Had we converted some of the chances we created we probably could - and should - have been 3-0 up at half-time. It is nice to see one of the best teams in Europe made to feel uncomfortable by what we do.

“Then in the second half against Bristol, we showed our quality and scored three goals to overturn their early lead. We deserved the win and off the back of those two strong performances, we are going into the game this weekend full of belief.”

However, the midfielder, who will represent England at the Under-20s World Cup in Northern Ireland in August, knows the Royals have caught the eye with their flowing football so far this season.

Angharad James and Jodie Brett had to be in top form to snuff out the pockets of space Reading operated in during the cup clash earlier in the campaign and Finnigan admits she will take inspiration from their performances if she is selected.

“Reading have a specific style of play and they are very good at what they do,” she added. “They pick up the ball in spaces in between lines really well so the whole team has to be disciplined. If I am playing in that more defensive role then I will be trying to break up play and halt their game plan.

“I think it was Haz (James) and Jodie who played that game as the two sitting midfielders and I thought they both did very well. Haz is the type of player who is very aggressive. She loves to break up play, be physical and make tackles and I would say that is the same with Jodie.

“It is important against a team like Reading, who try and bully you off the ball, to go and match that so hopefully we can do so on Sunday.”

Tickets are available for Sunday's clash with Reading, kick-off 2pm at Halton Stadium in Widnes, here.




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