Everton Women boss Jean-Luc Vasseur described his team’s return to Barclays FA WSL action as ‘a nightmare’ after they were beaten 3-0 at West Ham.

The Toffees were playing for the first time since December 19 following a series of Covid-enforced postponements and started brightly in Dagenham, twice hitting the crossbar through Hanna Bennison and Valerie Gauvin.

But Katerina Svitkova’s opener four minutes before the break changed Vasseur’s half-time team talk and his fatigued side were made to suffer in the second half as further goals from Dagny Brynjarsdottir and Claudia Walker settled the outcome.

“It’s like a nightmare, because we managed the first half well,” the Frenchman said.

“We had the control, we had seven or eight shots, two hit the crossbar. We were unlucky and at half-time, I told my team ‘yes, we played well, but we are losing’.

“In the second half, we didn’t start like I wanted. I changed some players because during the break [from the league], we had a lot of Covid cases.

“Not all the players are fit, so we needed to change. I’m frustrated and disappointed. We need to wake up earlier, because it’s like a nightmare.

“I think we were not ready physically. In the second half, we didn’t have a rhythm. We have missed the rhythm of the games.”

The defeat leaves the Toffees tenth, seven points clear of bottom side Birmingham City – who have played two games more than Everton.

Vasseur is hoping his side find their feet quickly following their longer than planned break and next week’s FA Cup tie against National League North side Huddersfield could offer an ideal opportunity to get back on track.

“We want to start better,” he added.

“We had a chance today to take a minimum of one point. But it’s not about what I want, it’s not what I think, the score is 3-0.” 

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