A late goal saw Everton Under-21s narrowly lose to Crystal Palace Under-21s at Haig Avenue on Sunday afternoon.
After a difficult week for the young Blues, manager Paul Tait thinks the time until the next game will be hugely beneficial for the team.
Speaking to evertonfc.com after the game, he explained: “We’re going to get a bit of time on the training pitch, which is a positive. We can do some analysis on the recent games.
“We’ve had three games in a week, and it’s been full on. It’s been difficult to get any feedback to the boys, but we’ll get some time now.
He added: “We don’t play now until March 17th and so we’ll have plenty of time with the players.
On the game itself, Tait was disappointed in the lack of chances created by Everton, while admitting neither side provided much quality.
“It was a scrappy game,” said Tait. “There wasn’t a great deal of quality. There were limited chances for both teams.
“We got punished for not defending a ball into the box and they scored a header. I think everyone thought it would’ve been a draw, but they got the late goal from their substitute.
“We weren’t able to create many clear chances and that was the disappointing thing,” he reiterated.
In his continued comeback from injury troubles, Nathan Patterson made a positive step towards his return to First-Team action. He started again for Paul Tait’s team and managed to complete the full 90 minutes.
On Patterson, Tait added: “He was good. The most important thing was getting through the 90 minutes, and he got through unscathed. That’ll do him the world of good.”
Victor Akinwale’s 79th-minute strike sealed the Premier League 2 victory for the visitors, who entered the game in fifth position, and five points ahead of the Toffees in eighth.
The young Blues were looking to bounce back after the midweek defeat to PSV in the Premier League International Cup. However, Palace represented a tough test, and were unbeaten in their past four fixtures going into Sunday’s game.
The visitors started the game well, when Zan-Luk Leban was forced into making a strong save after nine minutes from Jadan Raymond’s headed effort.
The score remained goalless after a closely contested first 45 minutes, and the game remained close throughout. Palace registered 10 shots to Everton’s seven, but the most crucial of these was struck in the 79th minute.
Palace managed to keep the ball alive after a corner, before Kaden Rodney stood a ball up for Akinwale, who headed home to open the scoring.
Leban made a great stop in the 89th minute to deny Palace from doubling their lead. Despite the Blues’ battling efforts, the score stayed at 1-0, and the visitors head back to London with all three points.
The young Blues’ next outing sees them take a trip to play Chelsea on Friday 17 March (7pm GMT).