Francis Jeffers is “loving” the experience of taking charge of Everton's Under-23s and says his players are refreshed and raring to go for the first Merseyside mini derby of the season.
The young Blues travel to Prenton Park to take on the Reds on Saturday evening (7pm kick-off), knowing a win would see them leapfrog their neighbours in the Premier League 2 table.
Jeffers’ first game managing the Under-23s was last month’s dramatic 2-1 comeback victory at Swansea City.
And the former striker is hoping to build on that result in what he believes is “the biggest game of the season”.
“I’m loving the experience,” Jeffers told evertonfc.com. “I got thrust in there, things happened quickly like they do in football, but I’m loving it. The lads have been great and I can’t thank them enough for how they have responded.
“I can’t wait [for the mini derby]. As a player, playing against Liverpool was always the one. You look forward to it and look for it when the fixtures come out.
“We’ve had a bit of a gap with the international break but it’s not a problem because our lads are fit. Unsy [David Unsworth], Ebb [John Ebbrell] and myself train them with a good intensity. They had three games in a week before the international break and we almost went with the same team for every game, so a little break will have done them well. They have had a day off here and there but we are back into it this week, training hard and preparing for Liverpool.
“It’s a Merseyside derby, the biggest game of the season in the Premier League for the fans and for everyone involved with the clubs. And, for our lads at Under-23 level, it is probably the biggest game of their season as well.
“There’s no better feeling as an Evertonian than to win against Liverpool. I’ve watched many Merseyside derbies and been on the wrong end and right end as a player and a fan. They are special games and we are looking forward to it.
"I will be reminding them what it’s about this week, a few video clips will be shown, we will see how we go and then we'll hopefully pick a team to go out there and win.”
Watch more of this exclusive interview with Franny Jeffers on Friday's The Everton Show on Made In Liverpool (Sky channel 117, Freeview 7 and Virgin 159) and Made In North Wales (Freeview channel 8) from 7pm or on demand via YouTube and evertonfc.com from 7.30pm.
If you live outside of the Made In Liverpool or Made In North Wales broadcast regions but have access to a Sky box, find out how you can add the channel here.
There will be a free live stream of Saturday’s mini derby for all Official members! Click here for more information.