Hannah Cain insists Everton Ladies are “improving every day” despite suffering a narrow defeat against Reading on Sunday.
The Blue Girls carried on from where they left off against Arsenal seven days before their trip to Adams Park, playing with the bravery and resilience that interim head coach Jen Herst had asked for in the lead up.
That was evident when they went ahead through Cain’s first goal for the Club on 14 minutes, only for Brooke Chaplen to swiftly level matters in Buckinghamshire and then add a second after the interval.
However, despite another solid performance going unrewarded, Cain insists there are signs the Toffees’ luck is about to change, with the team spirit unbroken despite a disappointing result.
“One of the big factors for us is that we are still together as a group,” she told evertonfc.com. “There is a lot of unity within the squad. You could see that against Reading.
“When you have that, you will go far.
“Obviously things haven’t gone right for us for much of this season but we are not panicking. We still have a lot of games left to turn things around. We haven’t even played every team in the league yet – we still have a lot of time to go.
“There are things for us to work on, of course, and we have had a tough couple of weeks. But we can see things getting better every day and we are sticking together as a team. Everything will come together.”
Cain led the line alone against the Royals as Herst tinkered with Everton's formation for her second match in temporary charge.
Switching from 4-4-2 to 4-2-3-1, Cain had the creativity of Chloe Kelly, Simone Magill and Inessa Kaagman behind her.
Indeed, it was the latter who laid on the pass for the 19-year-old to fire past Grace Maloney.
Everton had chances to add to their tally throughout the 90 minutes. Maloney denied Cain at 1-0, before Gabby George struck the woodwork and Kaagman saw a hotly contested offside decision rob her of an equaliser.
For Cain, it meant she headed back up to Merseyside with mixed emotions.
“I was absolutely over the moon to get my first goal because it has been a long time coming,” she added. “It was a great feeling but, at the same time, we still lost the game.
“I felt like we should have won it. We deserved the three points or, at the very least, a draw. It was really disappointing to come away with nothing.
“But we are starting to put into practice things that we are working on in training at USM Finch Farm. If we can be that little bit more clinical, things will come together.
“We are happy with the progress we are making and, despite the results, things are looking better.”