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Sunday 20 April K.O. 16:10

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Sheedy: U18s Ready For Run-In

Young Blues hopeful of qualifying for final round.

Sheedy: U18s Ready For Run-In

Kevin Sheedy believes his Everton Under-18s look in good shape to qualify for the league play-offs.

The young Blues head to Southampton on Saturday for their third fixture in the space of a week.

A stunning 5-1 win at home to Crystal Palace last weekend was followed up by an equally impressive 3-0 win away to Manchester United in midweek, as the Blues bounced back from their FA Youth Cup exit earlier in the month.

Now sitting fifth in the Elite Group, the Toffees know a top-three finish is required if they are to progress to the final stage where silverware will be won.

And with Sheedy's men having several games in hand over the teams above them, he believes his troops are well placed to qualify.

He told evertonfc.com: "The season's going along nicely and the lads are really digging in and responding. They are certainly showing the attributes that are required.

"We've got a good team spirit and squad system and everyone's contributing.

"We've got a good squad and it shouldn't be that you can get into a team easily. You need to have a fight to get into the XI and then work even harder to stay in it."

With games to come against Chelsea, Fulham, Bolton and Palace, there is still an awful lot to do in order to reach the final phase of the competition.

And Sheedy admits he and his coaching staff are ensuring the youngsters are focussed solely on one game at a time - starting with Saturday's clash with the Saints.

The two sides have met twice previously this term - a 2-0 Youth Cup victory in December was followed by a 3-0 league defeat to the south coast side two months later.

"We've not set them a points target for the rest of the season," explained Sheedy.

"But we said before the Crystal Palace game, if we're going to be in a position to get third spot, we wanted to win the next three games.

"We've won two of them, and now we've got to go to Southampton and beat them to get right in the mix.

"We're capable of doing that so we'll look after the lads in training as we have done. It's just light sessions at the moment because the games are very close together.

"We want to try and keep them as fresh as possible."

Keep an eye on the Club's official Twitter and Facebook pages for the result from Saturday's game (11am kick-off), as well as a full report and reaction on evertonfc.com later on.

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