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Stubbs Urges U21s Focus

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Alan Stubbs has asked his table-topping Everton Under-21 side to 'see the job through', starting with Monday evening's clash against Fulham.

The Blues sit healthily at the summit of Group One in the second phase of the campaign, three points ahead of second-placed Aston Villa who have played a game more.

And ahead of the Cottagers' visit to the Merseyrail Community Stadium, Stubbs is seeking professionalism from his players as they close in on qualifying for the final play-off rounds.

"We're doing okay," he told evertonfc.com. "We've still got five games to go and we find ourselves at the top of our table at the moment, which is great. But we've got to see the job through now.

"We're coming into a few games where we've got some of the teams around us - Fulham, Middlesbrough and Chelsea. We just need to take some points from them, but from the footballing side, I've got no complaints whatsoever.

"They've done great. Since November, they've done really, really well."

With the winners of Group One and Group Two going through to face each other for a place in the semi-finals, the new Under-21 league format has increased competition as the season grows.

Stubbs admits the fact that his side can still win the overall title has kept focus on strong performances and results, with the Toffees now on a 10-game unbeaten run.

"They've got something to play for," he explained.

"The season's not going to fizzle out. They find themselves at the top and I challenged them in October-November time - I thought they could go through this campaign unbeaten, and at this time in this division, they are.

"That's to do with what they've done - they've approached the games really well, they've shown great character in some games where they've been 2-0 down to come back to win or draw.

"That's a great sign when you're standing on the sidelines as a coach, to see your team not give up.

"All credit to them. We find ourselves coming towards the end of the campaign now and they've put themselves in a great position to qualify for the final rounds. Only time will tell whether we can do that, but I'm optimistic.

Everton Under-21s face Fulham at the Merseyrail Community Stadium on Monday 8 April, with kick-off at 7pm.

Everton Season Ticket holders and FOREVERTON members are able to gain free admission to all home Under-21 fixtures at Southport, with members of the public being able to gain access by payment at the turnstiles (adults £5, concessions £3). Southport Season Ticket holders are also eligible for free entry.

For those unable to attend, evertonfc.com and the Club's official Twitter feed will provide updates, with highlights on evertontv on Tuesday morning.

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