Spence: We Must Bounce Back In Derby

Everton Ladies Head Coach Andy Spence says his players must respond to the defeat to Reading when they face Liverpool on Sunday.

The Blue Girls put in an uncharacteristic performance at Wycombe Wanderers’ Adams Park against the Royals, going down 3-0 after second-half goals from Remi Allen, Lauren Bruton and Kirsty Pearce.

A clearly disappointed Spence delivered an honest assessment of that display and called on his side to bounce back quickly when they tackle their city rivals at Prenton Park this weekend (2pm kick-off).

“We need to recover for Liverpool,” he said. “We have had three tough games (against Arsenal, Chelsea and Reading) in a week and a lot of minutes. Some of the players have played three games - not everyone but four or five of them.

“It was disappointing against Reading. I thought we had a good opportunity that we didn’t take and I would be lying if we said we were anything but second best. This week has shown us where we are at as a team and where we need to improve to get to the level of the three teams we have played.

“The reflection time began soon after the game for us and the players. We need to address the areas where we have let ourselves down and improve because it always a big game when you play Liverpool.

“We have five big games left and they are five big opportunities because we have a squad of players who want chances. That will be the case until the end of the season.”

With Everton back in WSL 1 this season, Spence’s side are very much learning on the job when it comes to life in the top flight again.

But against the Royals, the Toffees were out of sorts and never really managed to get to grips with a side they had beaten 2-1 at home back in February.

“On Sunday, you saw a really clever and experienced Reading side and a young and naïve Everton side,” added Spence.

“Tactically within the game, Reading were smart but we were aware of that before the game. We just weren’t able to deal with it.

“Reading controlled it once they got the goal and that allowed them to score their second and third. They deserved the three points.”

Everton have the opportunity to return to winning ways when they take on their neighbours at the home of Tranmere Rovers on Sunday.