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Winning Mentality Pleases Stubbs

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Everton v Krasnodar

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Alan Stubbs has praised the attitude of his young Under-21 side following Monday's 2-1 victory at Blackburn.

With the game at Ewood seemingly destined to finish 1-1, the young Blues poured forward in injury time and Ibou Touray produced a last-gasp winner from close-range.

It was the second successive late rally following the 3-2 win at Chelsea in their last outing and Stubbs admitted it was no less than his troops deserved.

Speaking after the game, he told "I've got to say, I thought we were the better team.

"We dominated, especially in the first half from a possession point of view. The second half, they tried to match us up and counteract that and they did better.

"I said at the end to our lads that I thought they didn't show enough courage to keep doing what they had been doing in the first half. Because Blackburn matched us up, they let that affect them and we stopped playing.

"But I can't knock their attitude or desire to win the game. We had enough chances to win two games, but they kept going and showed a great team spirit and character to keep going to the death.

"I think Ibou was surprised he was that far up the pitch - he's used to being at the back for corners. Looking at the goal, he's shown a great bit of desire to run past three players and be the first one to win it.

"I don't think anyone could deny we deserved to win tonight."

Tony Hibbert aside, the starting line-up consisted entirely of teenagers - not for the first time this season.

And while Stubbs is aware that his youngest players will need nurturing, he believes they are of the right mentality to develop at Under-21 level.

He added: "We were very young but if they weren't good enough, they wouldn't be in the team.

"We do have to think about their ages but I'm happy with what they're doing at the moment. We are going to get mistakes along the way, that's only natural, but I've got a lot of time for them as a group.

"They've got a real good attitude, a fantastic desire to win and there's a lot of characters in the dressing room, even at a young age, which is great to have."

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