Jonjoe Kenny believes Everton’s “aggressive, hard-working” performance against Manchester City on Wednesday night offers a template for how the team must approach their upcoming Premier League matches.
Boss Marco Silva had called on his players to be assertive and creative against City.
And while stoppage-time goals in each half saw Pep Guardiola’s team secure the three points, the Toffees were afforded a rousing reception from the Goodison Park crowd after a high-octane display.
Academy graduate Kenny says the Blues must replicate this intensity when they visit Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
A victory would see Everton leapfrog the Hornets and move up to eighth in the Premier League table.
“I thought we were aggressive and there were chances for us against City,” Kenny told evertontv
“You can see from the crowd’s reaction, they recognised the work-rate we had. That’s what we want as an Everton team and as a Club.
“Everton’s always been a tough place for opposition teams to come to and play and that’s what we want to bring.
“I think it’s important for us to be confident, not worrying about giving the ball away but showing how good we are.
“Against City, I think we did that. And if we did lose possession, the lads were getting the ball back, pressing and getting in people’s faces.
“We had some great passages of play, we got in a couple of times – we just need to take our chances and hopefully that’ll come when we play again on Saturday.”
Wednesday night’s match represented England Under-21 international Kenny’s 38th first-team appearance for Everton.
The Kirkdale-born defender produced an accomplished defensive display against the reigning Premier League champions.
Kenny held his own in a keenly-fought tussle with electric winger Leroy Sane before impressively standing up to the challenge posed by Raheem Sterling, who replaced the German midway through the second half.
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The defender’s influence on the game is highlighted by the fact he had more touches of the ball than any other Everton player (81), while only towering centre-back Kurt Zouma completed a greater number of clearances than the youngster's six.
Kenny, who joined Everton’s Academy aged nine, says he savours the opportunity to test himself against top talents.
“Your focus has got to be 100 per cent," he said. “You can see the quality they [City] have got, even on the bench.
“But it’s the Premier League and I want to be playing against the best and showing how good I can be.
“I thrive off that and there’s nothing better to do than play against top players and show how good you are yourself.
“That’s what I want to do and want to do for a long time at Everton.
“Coming into the game, I wanted to do a job, I wanted to do well, and we had a good team performance."