Everton boss Willie Kirk hailed his players' desire to push each other to their maximum levels after the Blues maintained their 100 per cent start to the WSL season with a win over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Izzy Christiansen headed home the game’s only goal in the 51st minute as Everton kept tabs on Arsenal at the WSL summit.
The result sees the Toffees move level on points with the Gunners, two clear of Chelsea in third, and means they are yet to surrender any points - let alone a single goal in the opening two fixtures.
“We knew it would be a physically tough afternoon,” Kirk said.
“It was a nice day and the sun was beating down on us - that takes a little bit extra out of us in terms of our energy levels.
“We didn’t put the game to bed, but I felt we controlled the vast majority of it and it was almost around the 40-minute mark before they had any possession in and around our half.
"The girls were fantastic from start to finish.”
Everton got off to a flying start last weekend, with Lucy Graham’s player of the match performance inspiring an emphatic 4-0 win at Bristol City.
This time round it was a very different affair as Kirk’s side were forced to be patient and dig in after Hayley Raso’s early sighters were snuffed out and Spurs grew into the match.
However, a half-time substitution from Kirk swiftly changed the complexion of the match as the Blues raced out of the traps and into the lead as Nicoline Sorensen planted her cross from the left onto Christiansen’s head.
It was a goal that proved to be the decisive blow - and Kirk was left delighted by the character his side showed to rise to the challenge and drive each other on.
“There are always challenges on and off the park, but challenges are what bring people together,” added. “If everything goes well then we probably don’t learn much about each other.
“The group has been fantastic and we will continue to grow. They are just getting to know each other so there’s still a lot we need to find out.
“We have got good competition for places.
"We made two changes today and a few substitutes - it’s so tough to get into the team and the players know that. That brings its own challenges, but they’re certainly rising to it.
“They’re training so, so hard against each other so when it comes to challenges like today it’s something they’re used to from their training. Everyone is playing their part.
"I absolutely believe that will drive us onto big things this season.”