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Stubbs Reveals Half-Time Frustration

Coach disappointed despite taking early two-goal lead.

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Alan Stubbs revealed he had stern half-time words for Everton’s Under-21 side on Sunday - despite them going in at the break with a 2-1 lead.

The young Blues ultimately held on to defeat visitors Norwich City but after going two goals up inside 13 minutes through Magaye Gueye and the returning Conor McAleny, Stubbs felt his players carelessly let their foot off the gas.

They were punished when the Canaries pulled one back through Jacob Murphy 10 minutes before the interval and Stubbs says his young charges must learn never to assume the job is done.

Speaking to evertontv, the former Blues defender said: "We managed to find ourselves in a 2-0 lead early on. One of the goals was a little bit fortuitous because the keeper made a mistake, but we were in the right place to stick it in.

"I thought after that they took their foot off the pedal and they thought it was a little bit easy. They got a bit sloppy and I wasn't too happy with that really. I told them at half-time that the hardest thing in football is to win games and if you ever think it's easy, it has a terrible habit of coming back to bite you on the bum.

"We created enough chances to win two games, never mind one, but if you don't put them away anything can happen. Whether it's a silly free-kick, a silly corner, a deflection, you leave yourself vulnerable and we just need to be a little bit more clinical.

"They were better [in the second half] but it shouldn't take a talking to at half-time from me to make them understand how to do the right things in games. It's not as if they don't know that and they know what we're teaching them is right. We just need to do things better than we have been doing."

The game also saw Francisco Junior, a second-half substitute, limp off just 16 minutes after coming on.

Stubbs, however, is hopeful an ankle knock sustained by the midfielder isn't too serious.

"I think he just rolled his ankle, so it shouldn't be too bad" he said. "He was in a little bit of pain but we'll have to wait and see once the swelling goes down and take it from there."

The Blues' final game of the opening phase of the season takes place on Thursday when they travel to bottom side Bolton.

Stubbs' side are relying on other results to go their way but could still qualify for the Elite Group stage, due to begin in the New Year.

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