Everton Women’s manager Brian Sørensen assured fans “there is no panic” at the club as they look to climb the WSL against Aston Villa on Sunday.

The Dane also provided an injury update aead of The Blues’ trip to Villa Park.

He confirmed both Elise Stenevik and Lucy Hope are out, with the former “back on the pitch, so hopefully not (out) as long”.

Hope “is still months away from being ready” after she was forced off during the Toffees’ only win this season as they claimed the bragging rights by defeating Liverpool at Anfield.

MerseySportLive reported after Everton’s last outing that forward Nicoline Sørensen will be retiring from professional football at Christmas, aged 26.

On her plans Sørensen said: “I was surprised. I have known it for a while now. It was just the right time to say it. She is a thinker so of course it is something she has been thinking about for a while.

“That big injury she had, she was out for 15 months, that changed something in her. She has been trying, because football has been such a big thing in her life, to find the motivation to get back but ultimately she couldn’t. Every day here she gives everything she has because she is professional, and I am also starting the games with her because she is doing good still.

“She made her decision and we are sad that she is leaving, but it is her life and her choice, and at the end of the day we can only back that up.

“We don’t think it is a good thing for us of course but we will respect her and we wish her all the best.”

The former Brondby player will need to be replaced though, with injuries hindering Everton’s frontline so far this season.

When asked about the possibility of exploring the transfer market, the 43-year-old said: “We will probably recruit this January window to replace Nico. We need more options because the league is so hard and tough, we have been unlucky upfront in terms of injuries.

“At the end of the day I just look at training and I look at the performance in the games and Nico has been deserving to start. Unless she doesn’t perform in training then another one can take her spot for games, and if she continues doing well then she will continue starting.”

It has been a difficult start to the season for the L4 outfit, who are yet to win in-front of their home fans and only have five points after seven fixtures.

The manager said: “I said to the girls last year after eight games we had nine points, (if) we win on Sunday we have eight points. We had a really good season last year so there is no panic, we knew that many of the games we have been playing we deserve more if you look at what we are creating and so on.

“Just looking at expected goals and what we should have scored, we should be up in sixth in the table. But it is the real table that counts, we know that and we know Sunday is really important and we need to get a win so we can move in to the last international break on a high. Then we have two important games after that. Last year we had 12 points when we went to Christmas it is still a possibility for us to do that and that is what we are focusing on.”