Paul Tait was delighted with his team’s performance in their impressive 3-0 victory over Wolves on Friday evening.
The young Blues dominated the Premier League 2 fixture at Finch Farm, with Elijah Campbell, Francis Okoronkwo, and Stanley Mills all scoring first-half goals.
The Everton Under-21s manager spoke to evertonfc.com after the win and was full of praise for his players.
“I thought we were excellent – especially in the first half,” said Tait. “I thought we were outstanding. Some of the football was really good. We opened them up and created loads of chances.
“We probably could’ve scored a couple more goals, to be honest, and when we had to defend, we defended really well.
“So, first half, I was delighted. We scored some really good goals and looked a threat.”
After a one-sided 45 minutes, which saw Everton in complete control, Tait knew the opposition would offer more in the second half. Despite this, he was pleased with Everton’s display, and was particularly impressed with one player’s showing.
“They were always going to come out and have a real go,” Tait acknowledged. “You can be your own worst enemy at 3-0 up and take your foot off the gas, but to be fair, Wolves made it difficult. It was scrappy. We couldn’t quite get that fourth goal.
“But I thought we defended really well to keep the clean sheet. I thought Eli Campbell was excellent. I thought he was the best player on the pitch, especially in the second half.
“It was a great team performance. The lads were excellent, but I thought Eli was extra good.”
Everton’s first-half performance showed great confidence and physicality. The young Blues often targeted the wide areas in offensive phases, and Tait admitted this was part of the strategy going into the game.
“We had good connections down the side. We’ve got Stan (Mills) and Kyle (John), who are a really good combination, and then Kat (Kouyate) and Mackenzie (Hunt) who are as well.
“I thought we exposed their full-backs – something that we had talked about.”
To finish, Tait was keen to emphasis the primary importance of player development and how he prioritises this over results.
“We’re looking for performance, he stated.” "The results take care of themselves. We had a good defensive and counter-attacking performance against Chelsea, and then tonight we’ve controlled the game.
“We were good in possession and out of possession. We dominated the game, scored three goals, and kept the clean sheet, so I’m really pleased.”
Everton Under-21s’ next outing sees them take on Wolves again, but this time away from home. They meet on Monday 10 April at Aggborough Stadium.