Boyhood Blue Elliot Richards wants Everton Under-18s to take derby honours this weekend and crank up the pressure at the top of the Premier League North table.
The young Toffees host Liverpool on Saturday (11am kick-off), knowing victory will see them leapfrog Liverpool, who currently sit in second, and edge closer to leaders Manchester United.
Defender Richards has been in fine form this season, and knows victory in the mini-Merseyside derby will give Everton plenty of confidence going into next weekend’s Under-18 Premier League semi-final against Chelsea.
“I was an Everton fan growing up so I am excited,” said Richards about Saturday’s clash. “It is a local derby and it’s always nice to play them.
“We will go into it really wanting to win. It will be hard but we would love to get three points against them. There is more grit in the derby and sometimes the game plan that you have goes out the window. It will be a battle but I am looking forward to it.
“We want to put pressure on the top. It is a tight table, we are just behind Manchester United and we believe we have got a good chance of getting the win.”
The Under-18s were last in action two weeks ago when they defeated Fulham in the last eight of the Premier League Cup, a week after their thrilling 3-2 league success against West Brom.
Richards is relishing the prospect of finishing the season strongly by Paul Tait’s side getting a run together.
“Once you get your first win, you can build on from that and keep going,” he added. “We do look at the fixtures game by game but Taity has been brilliant with us.
“We have been working hard and he wants us to look at our objectives. At the start of the season he gave us a list of targets, which we have done, but we are going to keep pushing.”