Everton Women have been dealt a bad hand as the Toffees’ lengthy injury list means Brian Sørensen’s side are heavily depleted over the Christmas period.

Sørensen told MerseySportLive: “It is not good, we have a lot unfortunately. Lucy Hope and Elise Stenevik are out, as they have been for a while now. The first (is) back after the Christmas break.

“Katrine Veje unfortunately rolled her ankle in the Germany game and is out until after Christmas. Justine Vanhaevermaet is also out with a foot injury. Then we have Nathalie Bjorn and Karen Holmgaard who are still not back to full fitness they are struggling a bit but hopefully they can do what they did in the Villa game where they played a half each.

“Martina (Piemonte) of course is still suspended so it is a significant amount of players that we do not have the availability of.”

The high tally of players in the treatment room means the Blues’ starting XI against West Ham on Sunday will feature a host of changes.

The Dane added: “We have one defender basically, so it is frustrating. There is nothing we can do about it. We need to make a game plan that works. Going into the Villa game, it was a little bit of the same. We will probably see a new formation, a 1-6-3 or something like that and see how that goes!”

Everton Women v Liverpool Ladies - Alamy Images under agreed licence

The number of unavailable players led to the head coach being questioned about recruitment over January.

The 43-year-old replied: “To be honest we don’t have many plans. If we sell a player, it doesn’t help us because of the growth in money in the women’s (game).

“What you could get a player for two years ago, you need to pay double now. That is why it is extremely hard at the moment to do that. Hopefully we can get one in, we are losing Nico (Sorensen) we know that, but if we can’t, we have the squad we have and we have to get the best out of it.”

Despite their current injury woes, Everton have had a solid commencement to the campaign. They sit eighth in the Women’s Super League, three places ahead of the Hammers, who they travel to face this weekend.

On the Londoners, he said: “It is going to be a tough one. Like Villa, we need to perform, we need to be together as a team, we need to take our chances and we need to be defensively strong to neutralise their threats.

“I think they are in the same boat that we are in, they lost really good players, and it is really hard to replace (them) and then you are trying to get young players in and still get results. I have respect for that, and I think they do a good job, and we know it is going to be a tough opponent.”