Toffees are nowall on the same Paige
YOU could be forgiven for thinking all was rosy in women’s football during the summer, such was the popularity of the World Cup, but in Merseyside there was chaos.
While Liverpool were waving goodbye to their chances of winning a third consecutive WSL title, neighbours Everton were coming to terms with strikers Danielle Young and Lucy Whipp leaving the club, while manager Andy Spence also stepped aside.
Coach Nicola Anderson was handed the reins on an interim basis and left to pick up the pieces, but results since have put her in real contention to get the job full-time.
A six-match unbeaten run in the league has kept the Toffees in contention for promotion and an immediate return to the top-flight.
And defender Paige Williams has backed Anderson to continue as manager.
“Nicola was always working alongside Andy, so she is someone that we knew and she has carried on with a similar approach,” said Williams.
“In training everyone is positive and we’ve been getting good results, so it’s been really good.
“I think she would be a good manager. If she got the job fulltime she would really fight for us. She would fight for better training times, better facilities, because she wants us to do well.
“I don’t look at whether I’m managed by a man or a woman, just whether they can deliver.
“Lee Lockley stepped in to help out when Andy stopped and was brilliant with us as well. Noone really knew what was going to happen, but he has helped keep us on track.
“Of course, though, it is nice to have Nicola and see her doing a good job.”
Everton’s season of highs and lows has perhaps never been better highlighted than through results over the course of the last seven days.
Desperate for points to keep the pressure on top two Doncaster Rovers Belles and Reading, the Toffees let Olivia Fergusson in to head home a last-gasp equaliser for Aston Villa last weekend.
On Thursday night though, they pulled off a magnificent comeback of their own. Trailing 31 away at pace-setters Doncaster with three minutes left on the clock, goals from Ellie Stewart and Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah rescued an unlikely point.
It means Everton are now ten points behind Reading with five games left, and Williams has not given up hope of promotion.
“All of the games between now and the end of the season are must-win,” added the England Under-23 international.
“We need to only worry about ourselves, make sure we get the points we need and hope the teams above us drop some points along the way.
“We were really disappointed with the draw against Aston Villa. We were on top for the whole of the game, but we didn’t create enough clear-cut chances going forward and then they punished us at the end.
“We work hard on how we defend set-pieces, so to concede from one so late on was really quite devastating.”
FIGHTING SPIRIT: Paige Williams, left, beats Ellen White of Notts County to the ball and ,inset, Lucy Whipp is challenged by Watford’s Josie Green