David Unsworth was delighted with the way Everton Under-21s fought back to earn a 1-1 draw against Norwich City at Carrow Road on Monday night.
The Young Blues were dealt an early setback when the hosts went ahead after only 10 minutes through a deflected goal from Carlton Morris.
But Everton appeared for the second half with much more purpose and earned a point through Tyias Browning’s thumping header in the 78th minute.
The draw leaves the Under-21s occupying 11th place in the league table with five games remaining – the next of which is away at Chelsea on Thursday.
Unsworth said: “I thought we were poor before half-time and I was disappointed with the first-half performance. But, having said that, I was equally delighted with our second-half display because we were really good and maybe should have gone on to win the game.
“It was a fantastic header [for the equaliser]. I thought Tyias was terrific all night at the back. David Henen was a real threat and looked like a spark throughout the whole game. I was delighted with the pair of them.”
The Blues currently have nine members of the development squad out on loan gaining valuable first-team experience at various levels of the English football pyramid.
Consequently, that has allowed younger players in the Finch Farm Academy to step up and represent the Under-21s in recent months.
Indeed, nine players involved in Monday’s draw with Norwich are still eligible to play for the Club’s Under-18s team.
And Unsworth said: “What we have had in the last couple of months is a very young team representing the Club in a brilliant way.
“They are getting great opportunities to play at places like Carrow Road against senior players. It brings them on quicker, and that’s the way we choose to look at it.
“I have to say that the lads have given everything they have. They are competing and it’s absolutely brilliant to see. We are Everton Football Club and we play with pride. We will play the right way and it doesn’t matter what team we put out, we’ll always have a go.
“I’m very proud of the young lads because they are stepping up and playing against older players and they are doing a fantastic job.”