‘It’s a process’ - Everton boss says Blues are a team in evolution

Everton manager Brian Sørensen says he is pleased with his team’s trajectory - but that it’s still a work in progress.

His comments follow a promising display by the Toffees in a 3-1 home defeat to title hopefuls Chelsea on Sunday. Though his side performed admirably, equalising after going behind and making ten attempts on goal, Sørensen said after the game that he was ‘disappointed’ as he felt his team could do better.

After a 2021/2022 campaign plagued by managerial changes ended with a seven-game winless run, Everton have started this season on the front foot. After four matches, they trail the league leaders by three points and look many shades brighter on the pitch than they did before Sørensen took the helm in April 2022.

But the Danish manager is refusing to get carried away, shrugging off suggestions of a top three finish after the Chelsea side with which his players went toe-to-toe won their opening Champions League fixture against Paris St Germain just days later.

“I think we’re on the right track,” he said. “I didn’t feel that we should have lost the first one against West Ham at all, if you look at the game - but that’s football.

“And then we’re not 100% set in anything yet, we’re still learning, we’re still adapting. It’s a process - we still need to develop a lot of areas.

“But overall, I’m happy with the progress that the team has been making, and we had some ups and downs in terms of players coming in and out that was unexpected.

“But we have a full squad now and looking forward to the game tomorrow.”

On Saturday, fifth-placed Everton will take on fourth-placed Aston Villa in a Women’s Super League six-pointer at the Bescot Stadium in Walsall.

As part of an ambitious summer of recruitment, half of Villa’s new arrivals made the switch from Everton, meaning France star Kenza Dali and ex-Toffees veteran Danielle Turner could both face their former club this weekend.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the clash, Sørensen observed that narrow margins are likely to separate the sides, who bear resemblance to each other in their preferred style.

“I think they started really well,” he said. “They have quality players, some of the ones they recruited from us and some of the ones they brought in. So it’s a good team.

“So it’s gonna be tough for us. We’ll look at ourselves and how we can utilise our strengths, where we think they’re weak. I think on the day it’s going to be down to who is gonna be sharpest in both ends of the field, and who has the best plan of succeeding.

“I think we were probably similar in terms of, we will have a game where both teams want to play football.. Sometimes I feel that it’s maybe a lot on us to set the game and try to break the opponent down, whereas here I think it’s going to be both ways.

“Hopefully we come out as the stronger ones.”