Everton Ladies assistant manager Chris Roberts believes there is plenty at stake for the Blue Girls in Sunday’s Continental Tyres Cup derby clash against Liverpool Ladies (midday kick-off).
Everton cannot finish in the top two of Group Two North to reach the last eight of the competition following Thursday night’s 3-0 loss to Manchester United Women at Southport's Merseyrail Community Stadium.
Despite that setback, Roberts knows this weekend’s game at Tranmere Rovers’ Prenton Park represents the ideal chance for the Blues to bounce back against their Merseyside rivals.
Having joined the Club at the start of December, Roberts and boss Willie Kirk have already tasted the sweet success of a derby victory, beating Liverpool 2-1 in the Women’s Super League in their first match in charge on 2 December.
And Roberts says more joy against Liverpool will be the ideal way for Everton to build momentum going into the Christmas break.
“First and foremost, the game is an opportunity for us to bounce back from a defeat,” he said.
“Winning’s a habit and we want to have that momentum going into the Christmas break. No-one in the dressing room needs telling what this game means to everyone at the Club and how much it means to everyone who comes to watch us.
“We can’t qualify for the next stage of the Continental Cup but it’s a massive game because it’s a derby and it means everything.”
Everton paid the price for a below-par first-half display against United on Thursday, conceding three goals to the Championship club before the break.
To their credit, the Blue Girls came out fighting in the second half and were unlucky not to find the back of the net after a turnaround in their play.
“The first half was so far off the standards that the girls have set since we’ve been here and we allowed ourselves to be dictated to so that did the damage,” added Roberts.
“We showed a lot more of what we are about in the second half but we can do a lot better than that. We made basic errors and the girls are so much better than they showed.
“I felt the girls improved in the second half. We shifted the momentum and created more chances and looked a lot more dangerous but we just didn’t get that goal.”