Willie Kirk: ‘That was preventable’

Willie Kirk and his Everton side fell victims to Pauline Bremer’s excellence on Saturday. The German international scored twice for City as they saw out a comfortable 3-1 win.

Everton got a consolation in the dying embers of the game thanks to a Georgia Stanway own-goal.

No matter how well his team performed manager Willie Kirk was still disappointed with the result.

The amount of progress that Everton have made under Kirk was evident in the way that the Toffees played against City, even going as close as hitting the bar in the first 16 seconds.

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The Scot said: “We weren’t brave enough on the ball, which was something that we were really good with in the first half of the season.

“To be on that stage tonight and not do that was frustrating. We went in at half-time and thought it was only small details we had to change, then we lose the second goal. That was preventable.”

READ MORE: Pauline Bremer brace sinks resilient Everton

There were many people that looked at City’s starting lineup — which had omitted Ellen White — and thought that Everton could cause an upset. Kirk thinks that City’s squad depth proves that mentality to be naive.

“People start getting quite excited because Ellen [White]’s not in the first 11 but they’ve got Pauline [Bremer] and they replace Ellen with Georgia Stanway,” Kirk said. “They’ve got quality all over the pitch. Our squad is much stronger than it was but we lose Chloe Kelly two days ago with a rolled ankle then Izzy arrives, trains well and picks up a calf strain.

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“Those players are really really big for us whereas they take out Ellen [White] and replace her with [Georgia] Stanway, the like-for-like is a little bit different”

More Business to be Done

Kirk also confirmed that Everton have not finished all their business in the transfer window.

He said: “It’s been a good January window for us. We’ve got one more to go out and one more to come in. We’ll be a lot stronger for the Reading game next week.”

He has already brought in England youth international Sandy MacIver and seasoned Lioness Izzy Christiansen. The latter of whom missed out on a place in the squad against City thanks to a calf strain.

Even with her injury, Kirk thinks Christiansen is already having a positive impact at the club.

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Kirk said: “She’s the ultimate professional, always asking questions, always challenging people.

“You don’t win what she’s won unless you’re a top professional, you don’t get a move to Lyon unless you’re a top pro.

Having someone of her experience will certainly help Everton achieve their ambition of finishing in the top half this season.

“We are really keen for her to bring that winning mentality and that experience to the club and it’s already rubbing off on the players,” Kirk said. “During her first few days, a few of the younger players were in awe of her. She’s going to be a huge player for us on and off the pitch.”

Derby on the Horizon

It was confirmed this week that the Merseyside derby on February 9 will take place at Goodison. This mirrors the Anfield fixture from earlier in the season.

Willie Kirk has high hopes for Everton’s chance to host a game at Goodison. He said: “There’s a rivalry between the two clubs. It doesn’t matter if it’s a football match, if it’s tiddlywinks or beating the opposition’s crowd.

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“The club will be ambitious with their targets and aggressive with their marketing,

“We will be trying to beat the 23,500 that they had at Anfield, which will be a tough ask but the challenge has been set”

Everton now look forward to a crunch fixture against Reading next weekend, with the Toffees looking to consolidate their place in the top six.

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