Everton dealt major injury blow as Bill Kenwright ‘tribute’ planned

Everton Women’s boss Brian Sorensen spoke to the media ahead of the Blues upcoming clash with Tottenham Hotspur

Nathalie Bjorn has suffered a hamstring injury

Nathalie Bjorn has suffered a hamstring injuryEverton defender Nathalie Bjorn will miss this weekend’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur after suffering a hamstring injury while away on international duty with Sweden.

Bjorn has been one of the Blues’ most consistent performers since Brian Sorensen was appointed manager last summer and has started all of Everton’s games so far this term.

The centre-back was substituted at half-time in Sweden’s UEFA Women’s Nations League meeting with Italy on Tuesday and is now set to be unavailable for the next “couple of weeks”.

“It’s unfortunate when Elise (Stenevik) and Sara (Holmgaard) are out also,” Sorensen said in his pre-match press conference. “It’s a lot of defenders (out injured).

“Losing Gabby George (to Manchester United) also – she could fill that role.

We have to think a bit different about our shape from what we would normally do because we’re missing a centre-back that plays a lot for us. But I’m confident we have the skills in the team to deal with it.”

It’s a big blow for Everton, who were beaten 5-0 by Man United last time out before the international break. “I said after the game, it’s hard to play that game better,” Sorensen said, reflecting on the bruising defeat.

“We have 50% possession against a team like Manchester United. Not many teams in this league are doing that. But if you look at the goals from our point of view they were really soft. We didn’t deal with the situations very well. It was individual mistakes.

“The result doesn’t reflect our performance and I’m looking at that. I was pleased with so many things but we can’t concede five goals, no matter what team we play. We’ve talked about that and took ownership of it. We’ll definitely try to be more ruthless.”

And Everton will need to be ruthless if they are to emerge victorious from this weekend’s contest at Brisbane Road. Spurs currently sit third in the table, having lost just one game under new manager Robert Vilahamn.

But despite the Blues’ turbulent start to the campaign, Sorensen is confident his side have what it takes to get the win when they travel to the capital on Sunday.

“(Spurs) have been good,” the Dane said. “Robert is a good coach and he will give them a lot of freedom. It will be a tough challenge for us. They have a lot of confidence.

I still think we can match them. But it will be a tight game and we need to be at our best because they will come with all the confidence to showcase themselves.

They have good players like United have so if we give them that amount of time on the ball and that amount of space in our box we’ll get hurt, that’s for sure.”

This weekend will mark Everton Women’s first outing since the death of club chairman Bill Kenwright, who passed away last week at the age of 78. Sorensen and his players paid their respects to the Liverpool-born theatre impresario by laying a wreath and observing a period of silence at Finch Farm.

However, the Blues boss concedes getting three points this weekend would be a fitting tribute to a man who cared so deeply about all aspects of the club. “It’s a sad, sad time for the club,” Sorensen said.

“He was a massive part of it for so many years. It was good to see the boys the other day have a really good game as a tribute to him. Hopefully we can do the same on Sunday.”

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