Tom Davies says the “extra buzz” of being handed the captaincy for Everton’s clash with reigning Premier League champions Manchester City further strengthened his resolve to make his mark in the midfield engine room.
The Blues delivered a performance rich in ambition and industry against Pep Guardiola’s team, but stoppage-time strikes in each half saw City escape L4 with three points.
Academy graduate Davies – making his third Premier League start in just eight days - helped set the tone for the Toffees’ display.
The 20-year-old led by example in the heart of the Everton midfield, combining creativity with tenacity as the Blues’ matched their gifted opponents for long periods of the tussle.
Davies became the Club’s youngest ever starting captain as Everton beat Rotherham United 3-1 in Carabao Cup clash back in August.
He has since been given the armband on a further four occasions and explained how he relished the responsibility of skippering the team for City’s visit to Goodison.
“I’m happy with how I did in the game,” said Davies. “Being captain, I had an extra buzz to lead the team out and to try to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
"That’s what I tried to do and unfortunately it wasn’t enough.
“But I think the whole team put a great shift in.
“We did cause them some problems and if we go in [at half-time] at 0-0, who knows where the game goes, because we were definitely in the game right until the end.
“They scored in injury-time to make it 2-0 - the score sounds comfortable, but it was far from that for them.”
England Under-21 international Davies made five tackles against City, a total not bettered by any player on the pitch, while his progressive passing and dynamic runs forward regularly helped Everton get on the front foot.
The West Derby-born youngster insists the team will take belief from their energetic display when they take on Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
A victory for the Blues would see them leapfrog the Hornets and move up to eighth in the Premier League table.
<<<JOIN MARCO SILVA AND HIS EVERTON SQUAD AT EVERTON IN THE COMMUNITY'S GALA DINNER>>>
“It was a better performance [against City] but we’re looking to get some points really, so it’s a tough one to take,” he said.
“I think all the lads did well, though, and we’ll aim to build on it at the weekend. Watford is a chance for us to get three points.
“It’s not going be an easy game. They are all tough in the Premier League. We will have to approach it like we did this Man City game and look to get the win.”