Jeffers: Build On Clean Sheet

Francis Jeffers drew on the positives after watching his side play out a goalless draw with Manchester United at the Merseyrail Community Stadium on Monday evening.

Despite launching a late barrage on United's goal and dominating in spells throughout the game, the young Blues were unable to find a way through a stubborn Red Devils defence.

The result leaves the reigning Premier League 2 champions third in the table, level on points with Leicester City and seven points behind current leaders Liverpool after 11 games.

Attentions now turn to the Premier League Cup, with Leicester's visit to Southport on Friday presenting an opportunity for the Toffees to build on a 2-1 win over Portsmouth in their opening game in the competition.

And Jeffers, who once again took charge of the Under-23s in the absence of regular boss David Unsworth and assistant John Ebbrell, has urged his players to build on an improved performance following defeat in the Merseyside mini derby last week.

“I thought we were slightly the better team [against Manchester United] but did we do enough to win the game? Probably not, although we probably could have won it in the end,” Jeffers told evertontv.

“We certainly finished the stronger side but we were too sloppy at times. The frustrating thing is that we’re getting in good areas but you have to take care with your passing and we gave the ball away too cheaply at times.

“We were coming off the back of a really disappointing result last week and the lads were maybe a bit on edge from that, but it’s something to build on. I asked the lads for a reaction and I think I got that.

"I got real good effort from them and desire to win the game. I thought we pressed the ball better, which has been a big part of our game under Unsy and Ebb. It’s something to build on but the lads are disappointed in the dressing room. We’ll go again on Friday.

“I’m happy with the clean sheet. You have to take the positives, which were the clean sheet and some of the lads, like Liam Walsh and Lewis Gibson, getting some much-needed minutes in their legs.”

Jeffers reserved praise for his central defensive pairing of captain Morgan Feeney and England Under-17 World Cup winner Gibson.

“They’re going to form a good partnership,” he added. “There’s good balance there, with Gibbo being a left footer and Morgan being right sided.

“They’re two young lads, very young lads. Morgan is our captain at a very young age and Lewis is new to the club and has been away for a big chunk of this season with England. There’s lots to look forward to with those two at centre-back.”

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