David Unsworth was delighted with the swift response offered by his Under-21s’ team against Sunderland on Thursday evening.
Knowing only a win would be good enough, Everton progressed into the quarter-finals of the Premier League International Cup with a 1-0 victory at Southport.
The positive result came on the back of a disappointing league showing against Tottenham Hotspur on Monday where the Young Blues were comprehensively beaten 4-0.
Unsworth told evertontv: “We asked for a reaction and got a reaction. We asked for a clean sheet and got a clean sheet. It wasn’t a night for the pretty football we like to play – it was a different type of game. It was a game where we had to dig in.
“It was a game we had to win to go through so there was pressure on the outcome. It’s a tournament we want to go far in so I am delighted for the players that they have the win because the performance deserved it.
“It was a tough day against Tottenham and the players were champing to get out there. They are a great group - a really honest and talented crop of players who are a delight to coach.
“Sometimes you get a setback and it’s how you react. They certainly reacted tonight.”
The performance was also a perfect way to prepare for the mini-derby against Liverpool at Chester on Monday evening.
“I know that when we perform at our best we can beat anybody,” Unsworth continued. “I’ve seen Liverpool a couple of times this year and they are a good team with some talented players.
“It’s got all the makings for a great game. There will be a few people there and we are looking forward to it.”