Everton Ladies captain Dan Turner admits “the only way is up” as the Blue Girls look to bounce back from defeat at Yeovil against Arsenal.
The Toffees host the top-of-the-table Gunners at Southport FC’s Merseyrail Community Stadium on Sunday, kick-off 12.30pm.
Despite dominating proceedings in Somerset, Everton were beaten 1-0 at the Clayson Stadium, a result that sent them to the bottom of the WSL table.
Head Coach Andy Spence, who had been at the Club for 15 years, left his role soon after and Turner admits it has been an emotional time – but that the Blue Girls have been working tirelessly in a bid to turn the tide against Arsenal.
“We know the table never lies,” she told evertonfc.com. “We are bottom of the league at the minute and that is certainly not where we want to be. We went to Yeovil with every intent of getting the three points but came away with a really disappointing result despite the performance. We must have had 28 shots but it was one of those days where the ball just would not go into the net.
“It was an emotional week after that game. We know we have to do better but the only way is up now.
“Arsenal side have been in fantastic form this season. Clearly they are the team to beat but we are going to go out there and give it our all.
“The group have been on it in training and what better way to start climbing back up the table than getting a good result against the top side in the league? We competed really well with them last year, in particular in the FA Women’s Cup semi-finals.
“Anything can happen but I know the girls really want to perform.”
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Historically, both Everton and Arsenal competed regularly for domestic honours across league and cup competition. The Blue Girls pushed the London outfit close in the opening two seasons of the WSL when it was first introduced in 2011, while they traded FA Women’s Cup final successes in 2010 – when the Toffees lifted the trophy – and 2014.
Turner hopes for another “tasty” encounter on Sunday and has called for Evertonians to pack out the Merseyrail Community Stadium to help cheer on the side as they look to shock the league leaders.
“Going back a few years, it was always Everton and Arsenal at the top,” added Turner, who played in the 2-0 defeat to the Gunners at stadium:mk back in 2014.
“This season Arsenal have been really flying high and we’ve haven’t done as well as we would like. But it’s always been a big rivalry so I’m sure it will be another feisty game.
“We want to see as many fans there as possible. Southport is really starting to feel like home now. We had a run of four home games in a row earlier this season, so we have become familiar with the place and I know the girls are enjoying playing there. The pitch is always in good condition so it’s great to play on.
“If we can get as many fans as we can there, especially on Sunday, then that will only help us. We need that “12th man” more than ever now and with their backing, hopefully we can go out there and cause an upset.”