Tait Looks Ahead To Merseyside Derby Clash

Paul Tait says his Everton Under-21s players are in no need of extra motivation for their Merseyside derby at Southport's Haig Avenue on Sunday (12pm BST).

The young Blues Head Coach believes the Premier League 2 match with Liverpool can provide the ideal opportunity for his team to bounce back after suffering defeat away to Wolves on Monday.

Speaking to evertonfc.com ahead of the game - which fans can watch live for free via our official YouTube channel - Tait discussed the determination from his squad to come away with the bragging rights this weekend.

“I don’t think you can get away from it, whatever level it’s at, it's Everton against Liverpool so it’s always going to be a big game," he said.

“Sunday’s match will look after itself in terms of motivation. We’ll be up for it – no matter what. It’s probably the ideal game for us to bounce back.

“It stimulates that rivalry and that’s what the players will be feeling. Hopefully, it’ll make for a good game.

“They are a strong team. Liverpool have always put decent teams out against us. It’ll be a tough game, but it’s one that we always look forward to.”

The young Blues face a difficult challenge against this weekend’s opponents. Liverpool are currently fourth in the Premier League table - eight points ahead of Everton in eighth - and earned a narrow 2-1 victory in the reverse fixture back in late October.

That match saw Stanley Mills’ early goal open the scoring to put Everton into the lead. However, Jake Cain netted just before the half-hour mark to equalise before Ben Doak’s second-half strike.

The Blues impressed in their last home fixture, however, and Tait is hoping his team can replicate their strong showing from a 3-0 triumph over Wolves.

On the positives from that game, Tait explained: “The clean sheet and the defensive organisation was really good.

“We were clinical when we created the chances. The opportunities we created were dangerous, and we managed to score three goals. We took a lot of confidence from that.”

Despite that excellent performance, Everton’s following fixture saw Wolves earn revenge, comfortably beating the young Blues at Aggborough Stadium.

After that loss, Tait is keen for his players to recuperate and return to winning ways.

“It’s just a case of getting over the defeat we suffered on Monday,” he said. “It’s football. It happens. We’re preparing these lads for future careers in the game.

“In Monday’s game, we weren’t good enough in both boxes. I thought we were good in possession, but we didn’t defend the box well enough. We weren’t clinical enough, especially compared to the week before. We needed to be more ruthless when we created the big chances.

“It can take the confidence away from you when you lose like that. We’ve tried to address that in training, and we’ve tried to lift the boys.

“It’s important that when you do suffer defeats, you learn from it. It’s a learning opportunity, and through analysis and going through the game together, we’ll hopefully learn from it and bounce back on Sunday.”

You can watch Everton Under-21s live in Sunday’s Merseyside derby clash on Evertons official YouTube channel. Coverage for the game starts at 11.45am (BST) and kick-off is at 12pm.