Brian Sorensen has heaped praise on his Everton side following their 3-2 victory over Reading and said it's up to his squad to determine just how high up the Women's Super League table they finish this season.
The Blues took an early lead at Walton Hall Park courtesy of a neat finish from Netherlands international Katja Snoeijs, who latched on to a sublime delivery from captain Gabby George. Everton doubled their advantage after 32 minutes; Jess Park slotting the ball into the bottom corner after some lovely link-up play with Nicoline Sorensen.
The Royals responded well in the second half, with Justine Vanhaevermaet nodding home from a corner to halve the deficit with half an hour still to play. George quickly restored Everton's two-goal cushion with a stunning long-range strike before Deanna Cooper pulled one back for the visitors set up a nervy finish to the clash.
READ MORE: 'We’ll see' - Brian Sorensen offers Everton transfer clue after Gio departure
READ MORE: New identity, Anfield glory and cup disappointment - Everton Women's season so far
However, the Blues managed to hang on to register their first win at home since their 1-0 victory over Leicester City in September.
"I was really happy," the Everton boss told the ECHO after the game. "We displayed ourselves well and they didn’t create many chances outside of the set pieces so I’m really pleased with the performance defensively.
"We need to look at our set pieces to see if there’s anything we can do better but also they are a tough team to defend on set pieces because they’re so big and their deliveries are good.
"Overall I feel we created a lot of chances, we played pretty football, the front three were working together with the midfield so I’m really pleased."
The win saw Everton leapfrog West Ham and Aston Villa to move up to fifth in the table and, with a favourable run of fixtures to come in the coming weeks, Sorensen believes his side have the ability to put themselves in a strong position heading into the business end of the season
"We just need to keep working hard, being smart and prepare as good as we can as we did this week," he said.
"Next week it’s West Ham and we lost the first (game of the season) to them so we want to prepare as good as we can. I think we only have Manchester United out of the top four to play in the next few months so it’s up to us where we want to end up. We just need to keep improving and doing well."
While Sunday's display was the result of an impressive team effort, Manchester City loanee Jess Park was once again Everton's standout performer and Sorensen was full of praise for the youngster.
"Jess is doing really great," he said, "we love working with her. On the ball she’s good. I also think both Gabby (George) and Sara (Holmgaard) coming in gave her good spaces to work in. I think moving her from the right side to the left side has opened up the pitch a bit more for her.
"I think her work off the ball is really good. She’s developing into a top player and we’re really happy about that."
The Blues now have a week to recover before they welcome Paul Konchesky's West Ham to Walton Hall Park next Sunday.
Win a pair of tickets to the Premier League or Women's Super League match of your choosing! Enter HERE
- Nicoline Sorensen lifts lid on Everton hope after making 'unreal' Women's Super League return
- Everton's Lucy Graham gives Brian Sorensen assessment ahead of winter break
- Gilly Flaherty lifts lid on mental health battle, Jill Scott message and Liverpool aim
Gemma Bonner returns to Liverpool in 'emotional' signing after four years away
New identity, Anfield glory and cup disappointment - Everton Women's season so far