Brian Sorensen felt Everton’s performance against Manchester City was a “step in the right direction”, despite a 2-1 loss.
In front of another sold-out crowd at Walton Hall Park, the Blues welcomed a high-flying City looking to put an end to their five-game winning streak.
The visitors started the brightest and got themselves ahead just after the half-hour mark through Julie Blakstad. The Blues pushed hard for an immediate response and got it just eight minutes later when Rikke Sevecke headed in a deserved equaliser.
However, Gareth Taylor’s men restored their lead early in the second half after Laura Coombs’ long-distance shot bounced off the post and into the path of Khadija Shaw to tap home what proved to be the game’s winning goal.
Despite the defeat, the Everton boss was pleased with the competitive spirit shown by his side.
"For me, City is the best team we’ve played so far, they are so calm and composed on the ball and they link up well, but overall, we did good in large parts," he told evertontv.
"We were also good on the ball and could also dominate and I feel unlucky because we had some chances.
A spirited performance, but it wasn't to be today.— Everton Women (@EvertonWomen) November 19, 2022
Heads up, girls. 💙
"They also had some, but I think the positive is although we haven’t closed the gap completely, we have taken a big step in the right direction."
The Toffees were spurred on by another big crowd at Walton Hall Park, and Sorensen hopes fans will have been pleased by the big shift put in by his side in the game.
"We try to dominate, we try to be aggressive, we try to press them, they are a hard team to press but we still try to do it and a lot of times we forced them to play long balls, which we think we can control easier rather than going deep and trying to defend because that’s where they are really good.
"They play against that week in and week out, so I think overall we are happy with our performance and hopefully the fans are also."
Sorensen was forced to shuffle his pack with the likes of Katrine Veje and Izzy Christiansen unavailable for selection. Loanee Jess Park was also ineligible to feature against her parent club.
There were impressive individual displays in their absence though, with Sorensen particularly impressed with the performances of Elise Stenevik and Gabby George.
“Elise came in today and did good, that was a tough game to play in. She played in Sweden for some years and to come in and take this step, I thought she was excellent.
"Gabby dropped down and played where Veje has been playing and was excellent, I can’t complain about our performance, we do everything we can."
Hear the Everton manager's thoughts in full at the top of this article or by clicking here.