Kirk: We Didn't Perform Like We Can In Derby

Willie Kirk admitted his disappointment with Everton Ladies' display in their 3-1 Merseyside derby defeat on Saturday but insists the positive signs he has seen in his first five months as manager gives him confidence the Club will "move forward next season".

After twice beating Liverpool earlier in the campaign, in the WSL and Continental Cup, a historic treble was in the offing as the teams stepped out at Prenton Park.

But goals in the opening 31 minutes by Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Niamh Charles put the Reds on the road to victory.

And though Abbey-Leigh Stringer pulled a goal back before half-time, Amy Rodgers ensured Liverpool’s win two minutes from time.

Kirk said: “It’s really disappointing after we’d come into the game feeling good and it was probably the most confident I’d felt about a game since I’ve been here.

“But Liverpool did the basics better than us, I think it was as simple as that. They deserved to win.”

Though the campaign ended on a low note Kirk was happy with the progress made since he took charge with the club bottom of the table six months ago.

“It’s been good,” he said. “It’s been frustrating at times, there have been low moments but lots of high moments, bad performances but some very good ones.

“It’s been a whole mixed bag, which is probably what we wanted because it meant we could assess the players with the future in mind.

“We know exactly what we need to do in terms of refreshing the group and there will be a number of changes.

“The club are backing us in the way we work and way we want to move forward, and I’m really looking forward to next season.”

The summer will give Kirk the chance to not only strengthen his playing squad but also to have an invaluable pre-season spell to make the team truly his own.

“That’s the main thing,” he said. “There’s a lot of good players at the club and we can build around them as we look to improve next season.

“We’ll have one of the lower budgets in the league, but we’ll aim to punch above our weight and if we can break into the top half of the table that would fantastic.”