Everton Under-18s head coach Paul Tait praised the quality of Everton’s leveller in their 1-1 draw with Wolves on Tuesday afternoon.
The young Blues went behind early in the second half but fought back for a point with striker Manasse Mampala grabbing the equaliser in style.
The goal stemmed from a good cross by Tom Warren for Mampala to meet and volley home with his left foot, moving the forward into joint third in the race for U18 Premier League top scorer, four behind fellow Toffee, Anthony Gordon.
Tait was also quick to praise the individual display of captain Elliot Richards who commanded the back four well whilst looking solid throughout the game.
“We are delighted for him, it was a really good goal,” Tait told evertonfc.com. “It was the best bit of quality in the match by a mile, it was a fantastic ball in by Tom Warren and Manasse carried on doing what he has been doing for us, getting across his man. Finishing with his left foot is coming on leaps and bounds and his heading, too.”
“He [Richards] did terrific today, he has been doing really well recently. He is a first-year scholar and is the captain, he is a Scouser and a Blue so he has the heart and the passion for the game. We love having him around.”
Everton managed to leapfrog Liverpool with the draw taking them to three points behind leaders Manchester United. However, Tait was insistent that team performances and development is far more important than results and trophies.
“In terms of the score it was what it was but we are looking at performances and development of players individually and as a group," he added. "We didn’t play well enough for long enough today, we had patches of good play but we need to keep working that those spells are longer throughout games.
“It was about moving the ball quick, getting on the ball, moving it – what we had been talking about lately – creating space for you and your teammates to move it. We wanted to play with creativity and be technical, but we didn’t do that for long enough periods in the game.
“We didn’t play enough in the first half but 10 minutes before half time was our best spell. We started poorly after half time, conceded and could have conceded again but after that I thought we reacted well and got the goal.”