Paul Tait says Everton Under-18s’ victory over West Bromwich Albion served as evidence of the young Blues' “spirit and quality”.
Striker Ellis Simms struck a 31-minute second-half hat-trick in the Midlands to take his tally to 23 goals in 16 league games this term.
Manager Tait conceded he was disappointed his side failed to keep a clean sheet. But Stanley Asomugha’s late consolation for Albion was the lone blot on an afternoon when Everton comprehensively halted a three-game winless run.
“I was delighted with the performance, we totally dominated the game and had all of the ball,” Tait told evertonfc.com.
“The only disappointing thing was conceding late on, but the result was important after we had not won for a few games.
“Things went a little bit flat and it was up to the players to lift the mood.
“The only way to do that was by working hard and trying to improve.
“Psychologically it was really important to bounce back. We showed our spirit but we also showed the quality we have demonstrated all season, bar two or three games.”
Everton’s win over West Brom was especially sweet coming barely three weeks after the young Blues lost a topsy-turvy FA Youth Cup quarter-final against the Baggies.
Indeed, it was a third success for Everton in four meetings with West Brom this term. Simms, meanwhile, took his personal tally against Albion into double figures for the campaign.
All three of Simms' goals were laid on by fellow forward Lewis Dobbin, who turned 16 in January and only recently linked up with Tait’s Under-18s – who sit fourth in the Premier League Under-18 North table.
“Ellis and Lewis played up front together and were a real handful,” added Tait. “Lewis was unfortunate not to get a couple of goals himself and I was really pleased with his performance.
“He has come into the group in the past month and done really well and I think he will be with us for the rest of the season now
“There are other lads in the Under-16s champing at the bit and hopefully a few of them will get a chance before the end of the season, too.
“Ellis has had a great season and if we create chances for him, he will put them away. He was a bit quiet in the first half but came to life after half-time.
“I think he likes playing against West Brom, that’s 10 goals he’s scored against them this season.
“We did not have all our players from the FA Youth Cup game and neither did they.
“But we had lost at Manchester City on a hangover from the Cup match and wanted to bounce back and show what we are about.
“And thankfully we managed to do that.”