Vasseur: Rise To The Challenge

Everton Women manager Jean-Luc Vasseur has called on his side to rise to the challenge of facing Manchester United this weekend.

The Blues return to home soil to take on the Red Devils at Walton Hall Park on Sunday (12.30pm GMT kick-off).


Vasseur oversaw a mixed first week after taking the managerial reins, opening with a 3-1 win over Leicester City in the Conti Cup before narrowly slipping to a 1-0 league defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion three days later.

Now, boosted by a maiden full week on the training pitches at USM Finch Farm, Vasseur believes his players are prepared to produce an improved performance.

"I've learned a lot of things already [about the WSL]," said the former UEFA Women's Coach of the Year.

"There is a lot of intensity in the games, 100-per-cent commitment and the game is open with goals. It is very interesting.

"[In the match against Brighton] all of my players tried and tried to find the good way to score. To show resilience like this is important.

"It's been more comfortable to have a full week to work and to prepare for this match. 

"We've got feedback from the past two games – the good things and the things to improve. We identified the main things to work on ahead of the game against Manchester United.

"My players have a lot of talent. We need to find a balance of being calm but not too calm in certain situations and, importantly, they need to believe in themselves."

Jean-Luc Vasseur
We are ready for the challenge – and we're ready to show another side of ourselves from the last game.

A win for Everton would see the Blues move within two points of their fifth-placed visitors in the WSL table.

"Manchester United, like all of the other teams, have strengths and weaknesses," said Vasseur. "I keep this secret because I work on this with my team.

"Manchester United started the season very well but it's a long season and no two games are the same. 

"We are ready for the challenge – and we're ready to show another side of ourselves from the last game."

And, while clearly keen to see his side make that leap in the standings, Vasseur has also called for patience as he adapts to his new surroundings.

"Rome was not built in one day," he added. "The most important thing is to close that gap between ourselves and the top teams.

"We must be patient and calm. That is very important. 

"There is talent [here] but we need to find the best system that the players will be most confident in for the next games. That is the challenge. 

"There is a saying, 'I never lose - either I win or I learn'... That is the philosophy in this current situation."