David Unsworth paid tribute to in-form striker Lewis Dobbin’s “fantastic attitude” after the teenager hit his second successive pre-season hat-trick in Everton Under-23s’ 4-1 friendly win at Guiseley on Saturday.
The 18-year-old fired in a treble as Unsworth’s team beat Warrington Rylands 4-2 on Tuesday and was in scintillating nick once more against National League North team Guiseley.
All the goals in west Yorkshire came in the first half, with Dobbin scoring twice within the opening 14 minutes to give Everton a dream start.
Tom Cannon – who netted in the Everton First Team’s 3-0 practice match win over Accrington Stanley last week and for the Under-23s against Warrington – scored Everton’s third on 27 minutes.
And while Guiseley got one back through Chuk Molokwu, Dobbin completed his hat-trick six minutes before half-time to make it six goals in a week for the talented young attacker.
Dobbin missed most of last season with a knee injury and Unsworth says his exceptional pre-season performances are testament to the dedication he showed during his recovery programme.
“Lewis is a great lad and I love working with him,” Unsworth told evertonfc.com.
“He’s had horrendous injuries, which you wouldn’t wish on anyone. I’m delighted to see the plan all the physios and the coaches have put together is starting to pay off.
“When a player has unfortunate injuries and is out for period of time – particularly in their scholarship years – it’s really tough for them.
“For Lewis to bounce back the way he has is great to see. All the credit goes to him for working as hard as he has – and for his fantastic attitude towards being desperate to be an Everton player.
“I’m absolutely thrilled for him.”
Unsworth was greatly encouraged by his team’s display in a game which was contested in 30-degree heat at Guiseley’s Nethermoor Park stadium.
He believes the conditions were a key factor behind his team not adding to the scoreline in the second half.
“It was a fantastic first-half performance on what was the hottest day of the year,” he added.
“We were outstanding. We scored some great goals and moved the ball around well. We controlled the game.
“I had nothing but praise for the team at half-time. It was really good to see all the work we’ve been doing in training show in a game.
“It was very tough on the guys in the heat in the second half. The game died on 60 minutes, really, and we made a few substitutions.
“Overall, it was a really good afternoon, a fantastic performance, and I’m delighted with what I saw.”