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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Beth Lindop

'Learning to do' - Brian Sorensen sends blunt message to Everton players after FA Cup upset

Everton boss Brian Sorensen has admitted his side still "have some learning to do" following their surprise FA Cup exit at the hands of Birmingham City.

The Toffees dominated the contest at Walton Hall Park, with striker Aggie Beever-Jones almost opening the scoring in the second half with a close-range effort that cannoned off the post. But the hosts were made to pay for the spurned opportunity; Birmingham winger Jade Pennock breaking through on goal in the 61st minute and coolly slotting the ball home to secure victory for Darren Carter's side.

It's a result that marks a departure from Everton's excellent form in the WSL - the Blues having won their previous three games to move up to fifth in the table. However, the manager admitted some of the fluidity his side have shown in their recent league outings was lacking in Sunday's cup tie.

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"The effort I was okay with, we put in the energy. It was more the decisions and the fluid play that we’ve shown that wasn’t there," Sorensen said, reflecting on the overall performance.

"It was there in patches but not for long enough. That said, we created chances. We hit the post twice and Aggie had a big free-kick also which was a good save by the keeper.

"I think we created enough to win the game but it wasn’t supposed to be. It is how it is. It’s of course disappointing but we can’t change it now."

Birmingham currently sit fifth in the Women's Championship, having been relegated from the top-flight last season. But Sorensen was impressed with the way Darren Carter's side acquitted themselves on Merseyside.

"That’s the beauty of the cup," he said. "It’s a one off and everything can happen and they took all of the advantages of it.

"I think with the wind in the second half it was hard for us to get up the pitch but it is how it is. We have to be better at making sure we don’t to get into a situation where we’re 1-0 down and having to chase the game."

Despite the result, the performance of striker Aggie Beever-Jones - who is on loan at Walton Hall Park from Chelsea - is one positive the Everton boss can take from Sunday's game.

"Aggie is improving really well," Sorensen said. "That’s why she started today. It was nice to see her play and she was unlucky not to get a goal or two but I think she’s on the right track. We just need to keep building on that because she’s a great talent."

The Blues now have a week to prepare before a trip to WSL leaders Manchester United next Sunday, and Sorensen is confident his side will be able to put this weekend's disappointment behind them ahead of their clash with the Red Devils.

"We will (pick ourselves up)," he said. "It’s a different type of game than in the league. We dominated a lot today and they kicked it up, won the second ball and went from there. In the league, it’s different.

"We have to handle games like that which could also come in the league against teams that are fighting for points and to avoid relegation and so on but I think in the league it is a little bit more open and we can dominate for periods and the other team can dominate.

"We have some learning to do as a group when we’re playing teams that are trying to be beind the ball and make it hard for us."

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