Winning Start Delights Stubbs
Under-21s coach satisified with Monday's victory at Wolves.
Alan Stubbs said Everton Under-21s’ 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers was built around a dogged defensive showing.
The second string started the new league season with three points on Monday evening after Hallam Hope and Conor Grant registered second-half goals at Telford’s New Bucks Head Ground.
Stubbs was particularly satisfied with the way his young back-five – including the outstanding Mateusz Taudul in goal – kept the home side at bay and took two of their own chances to secure victory.
He said: “Mateusz Taudul made some good saves. Not just that, I thought his kicking was good overall. It has been a little bit inconsistent and is an area that he needs to work on but tonight it was very good.
“I thought Tyias [Browning] defended really well and maturely. You can see big signs of improvement and he needs to keep doing that.
“The other lads around him I thought did really well. Jonjoe Kenny at right-back did smashing for someone who has just turned 16.
“Overall, I’m really pleased with the performance. It was only the first game but there are positive things to build on.”
Hope nudged Everton ahead with a follow-up attempt on the hour mark but unquestionably the goal of the game was Grant’s rehearsed free-kick with Matthew Kennedy 15 minutes before the end.
“I’ve just said to the lads that they can’t just take credit for that because it was what we were working on last week in Spain last week, a few free-kicks from the edge of the box,” joked Stubbs.
“I’m glad that it’s come off because you can work on moves on the training ground and you don’t get the opportunities to bring them to fruition.
“Fair play to Matty and Granty because they have seen a chance and have gone for it, so it’s great that they took that on board.”