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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League


Reserve team manager Alan Stubbs praised Jermaine Beckford's contribution to the second string's comfortable 5-0 win over Blackpool after the striker provided a timely reminder of just what he is capable of.

Beckford was a threat throughout and went close to scoring several times before finishing beautifully from the edge of the penalty area midway through the second half.

The former Leeds United striker's only goal for the Blues so far came in the Carling Cup victory over Huddersfield in August, but Stubbs told evertontv that Beckford has been instructed to stay true to the style of football that was so effective for him at Elland Road.

"We wanted him (Beckford) to play on the defender's shoulder today, a lot of his goals at Leeds came from him running on to things. Defenders don't like it when you play just on the shoulder," said Stubbs.

"On another day he could have had three or four. But he scored and hopefully he'll take confidence from that because he admitted he was probably a bit rusty."

Jack Rodwell played for over an hour at Finch Farm, whilst Victor Anichebe completed a 20-minute cameo as the pair continued their return from injury.

In recent weeks Everton boss David Moyes has been boosted by the return of Louis Saha and now with Rodwell and Anichebe nearing a first-team comeback, Marouane Fellaini is the only major absentee.

Ahead of a trip to Bloomfield Road on Saturday to face Blackpool's first team, Stubbs admits the manager is spoilt for a choice as the Blues look to continue their five-game unbeaten run.

"I think it's getting towards the manager being able to pick from a full-strength squad again," he said.

"Jack's got 65 minutes under his belt, Becks has got 70, Victor 20 and Gueye a full 90, so everyone is looking like they are coming back and that's good news for the manager."

Stubbs was able to celebrate a first win in five games for his side, and believes that Jose Baxter's early goal was crucial in helping the Blues to victory.

The first of Baxter's brace came after just three minutes and Stubbs says it gave Everton the freedom to look for more goals as the game progressed.

"We had a great start by going 1-0 up very early on, and we looked a threat. We had something at the top end that could threaten their back four which we haven't really had in the last couple of weeks," admitted Stubbs.

"Then once we got the second the game became easier for us and it gave us confidence. I'm delighted for the young lads that are learning the game because it's been a little bit harsh on them recently."


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