Coach David Unsworth was thrilled with how Everton Under-21s dealt with adverse weather conditions to produce a dominant display and overcome West Ham United 2-0 on Thursday evening.
The Young Blues responded to the 1-0 defeat at Leicester City on Monday with what Unsworth described as a ‘proper Everton performance’ at the Merseyrail Community Stadium.
The conditions were so unfavourable that there was one instance in the second half where West Ham United keeper Raphael Spiegel took a goal-kick, only for the wind to blow the ball out for a corner.
“I’m proud of them,” Unsworth told evertontv. “I thought the players gave another fantastic performance in horrendous conditions. Their attitude and professionalism was terrific to a man.
“The weather didn’t bother them – they just went about their jobs as if it was another game on a perfect pitch. I’m delighted that they got the win that their performance deserved.
“We knocked it about really well and created numerous chances. It was a proper Everton performance when many teams could have turned up and not fancied it.
“It’s performances like that which tell you a lot about your players – not that I didn’t know it anyway. Our players are honest and have a desire to be successful and play for this Club and that showed.”
Unsworth was ecstatic with all of his players’ performances, though gave extra special praise to versatile defender Callum Connolly who netted on only his second start for the Young Blues.
The England youth international doubled Everton’s lead on the hour mark after Conor McAleny had opened the scoring at the start of the second half.
Unsworth added: “I thought he [Connolly] was terrific. He was on the front foot all night and never gave his winger a minute’s peace.
“Their lad must have come off there and thought ‘what on earth has hit me tonight?’ because every time Callum got the ball he was on him.
“Francisco [Junior] has been working his socks off in training and considering that was his first game [of the season], he was also terrific.
“It’s hard to single out individual performances because the team ethic and togetherness was great.”
Everton Under-21s are next in action against Fulham at Southport on January 28.