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Tuesday 04 October 2016, 19:45 Whaddon Road
David Unsworth’s Young Blues travel to Cheltenham Town on Tuesday evening aiming to take the scalp of another Football League club.

Everton are back in Checkatrade Trophy action, five weeks after beating Bolton Wanderers 2-0 at the Macron Stadium in their first-ever fixture in the revamped competition

The Toffees - one of 16 clubs that accepted an invitation to participate in this year’s tournament - go into the match at Whaddon Road sitting top of Group A and already well-placed to progress.

Indeed, another Everton win would ensure qualification to the knockout stage of the competition, even before the final group game at home to Blackpool in November.

Left-back Antonee Robinson, a regular for the Under-23s this season, is delighted that the Toffees are involved in the competition and the squad has the chance to pit their wits against seasoned, experienced professionals.

The matches can’t come quick enough for the 19-year-old, who missed virtually the whole of the 2015/16 season with a long-term knee injury.

Checkatrade Trophy Table 480

Now back fit, Robinson has played in all but one of Everton Under-23s' fixtures so far this term, his most recent outing coming from the bench in the 1-0 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

“A lot of the squad is away with internationals so there will be different players coming in but it will be another good game and good test,” he told evertonfc.com.

“We want to win each game and, if we do win this one, then it obviously puts us in good shape for this cup. We want to take this competition seriously and win it, like we do with every competition we play in.

“We did well against Bolton and it was played at a really nice stadium with a big pitch. They let us play, which suited our game, but we are expecting a physical test against Cheltenham. It’s going to be a battle and we’ll have to defend for our lives.”


Stopping opposition strikers and wingers is not the only remit for Robinson, who has revealed how coach Unsworth is keen to utilise his full-backs as attacking outlets.

“David’s main theme is for the whole team to work hard,” he added. “From a full-back’s perspective, he wants you to have as much of an impact attacking as defending. He’s wants you to be fit, bomb up and down the wing and create chances. 

“He uses the full-backs on both sides as a really important part of his team. He also wants you to get back, defend when needed, stop crosses and keep cleans sheets.  

“I do love one-v-one defending and I tend not to let many people get past me. But I did used to be a winger as well, so I like getting forward and putting balls into the box.”

There will be live score updates from Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy fixture on the Club’s official Twitter account, with highlights on evertontv from Wednesday.