David Unsworth has called on his Everton Under-23s team to “bring their A-game and achieve something very special” as they aim to secure the Premier League 2 title with a win over Brighton & Hove Albion at Goodison Park on Monday (7pm).
The young Blues head into the match three points ahead of second-placed Brighton, meaning a victory would give them an unassailable lead at the top of the division.
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Unsworth called on Evertonians to back his gifted side in numbers at the Grand Old Lady.
He is expecting a tough examination from the Seagulls but is confident his team boasts the character and quality to rise to the occasion.
“Our players’ commitment to the cause, to wear the shirt, to wear the badge, to play for our great Club, is there,” Unsworth told evertonfc.com.
“They've performed for the majority of the games this season and we're asking them to perform one more time to get the reward that they deserve.
“Brighton have had a great season, they're a good team, they're well coached, they're well-drilled and it will be a really tough game.
“Hopefully we can get a lot of fans to Goodison to back us and get behind the boys. In the big games this season we've generally done very well and it's up to the boys to cross that white line, perform and bring their A-game.”
A victory on Monday night would seal a second Premier League 2 trophy in three years for Unsworth’s team.
The Toffees are fighting for honours on two fronts, combining their title tilt with a run to the quarter-finals in the Premier League Cup. They will take on Blackburn Rovers in a last-eight tie at Goodison 23 April.
Manager Unsworth says the players are relishing the chance to test themselves in a succession of high-stakes contests.
“If they go out there and perform against Brighton, they've got a great opportunity to achieve something very special,” he said.
“They've really performed outstandingly all season and we're also in the quarter-finals of the cup, so there's a chance to extend the season even further and go on and win another trophy.
"They should be hungry for success, that’s what being an Everton player is all about.”