Unsworth: Our Game Plan Worked

by Mike Taylor

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David Unsworth has praised his Everton Under-21s side for perfectly executing their game plan during Monday's 3-1 win at Southampton.

The young Blues got back to winning ways courtesy of a Conor Grant free-kick and a second-half brace from Chris Long.

And the former Everton defender was effusive in his praise for his players' tactical awareness.

"We wanted them to apply what we’d been talking about into a game plan and I thought they did that brilliantly," Unsworth exclusively told evertonfc.com. "We wanted to get people out wide and play with real width and I think the players did that throughout the game.

"It was great to see them take the information on board, which they should be doing at this age, and it was a real plus for us all to see it come off.

"They were thinking about the game and the objectives we'd set, not just playing it."

Unsworth also believes the players got their just rewards after unfortunate back-to-back defeats in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League.

"I was delighted for the players because they’ve had two really tough games against Fulham and Chelsea," he added.

"There is work that people don’t see in terms of their work and effort going into a game, so it’s always nice to get that victory at the end of it, because they certainly work hard.

"We didn’t just get a performance today, we got a result. That is brilliant and I am delighted for the players."

Long, who bagged his second and third goals of the campaign, was singled out after returning to the scoresheet.

Unsworth added: "I’m delighted for Chris and they were two great goals he scored.

"We started Chris out wide because we knew his pace and trickery in a one-on-one situation would cause all sorts of problems.

"We shuffled the pack a bit when it went to 1-1 because I thought Chris could become a little bit more dangerous down the middle and he got in there with two striker’s finishes.

"It’s great to see Chris scoring again and him enjoying his football - and long may that continue."

The young Toffees now face a break in their competitive playing calendar after the Merseyside derby was postponed.

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