Everton Under-23s’ boldness in making two attacking changes despite leading Tottenham Hotspur paid off, said John Ebbrell.
Holding a slender 1-0 advantage at the break thanks to Oumar Niasse’s sixth-minute header, David Unsworth introduced the attack-minded David Henen and Antony Evans for central midfielder Dennis Adeniran and left-back Matthew Foulds.
And the move was rewarded handsomely as the former laid on further goals for Ademola Lookman and Niasse before netting himself in a blistering nine-minute spell in the eventual 4-1 Premier League 2 win at Goodison.
Assistant coachEbbrell was delighted with the performance and was happy the tactical reshuffle came up trumps.
“We were having a chat on the bench in the first half and we weren’t happy with the amount of possession Spurs were having,” he told evertonfc.com. “They weren’t hurting us too much but we wanted to be more dominant in the game.
“Certainly the changes had the desired effect. We scored goals at the right times and there was some excellent movement and attacking play, which is what we want from the team.
“It was a great result. They had a lot of the ball in the first half so we had to be compact and organised. We did well to go in at half-time 1-0 up but for the second half we changed it up a little bit. It was much better then and we created some good chances and had real pace, which caused them problems on the counter attack.”
Unsworth and Ebbrell were able to call upon first-teamers Niasse, Lookman and Joel Robles for the game at Goodison Park, while the likes of summer arrivals Josh Bowler and Lewis Gibson had their first taste of playing at the Grand Old Lady.
The game also saw another new face in midfielder Adeniran – who joined from Fulham on transfer deadline day – make his Toffees debut, playing the first 45 minutes to the delight of Ebbrell.
“Dennis is coming back from an injury so we knew it was going to be about building his fitness,” he added. “But it was great to get 45 minutes under his belt.
“He will look the part for us and he is already a great member of the group. I was pleased to see him involved and I am sure he will do great for us in the future.”