Tait 'Proud' After Dominant Derby Display

Paul Tait revealed he is proud of his side after their strong showing against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon, but believes they should have gone on to win the game.

Everton Under-21s displayed a dominant performance against their local rivals at Haig Avenue but were denied the victory after a late equaliser in the 89th minute.

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Tait, who is the Head Coach of the young Blues, spoke to after the game, and he expressed his delight at the performance.

“I’m proud of the players,” he stated. “I thought they were excellent. From the first minute, we dominated the chances. I think anyone who watched the game could see that we could’ve scored four or five.

“We lost Ishe (Samuels-Smith). I won’t have a go at him because I thought he was magnificent. Him and Ben Doak; two great young players going toe-to-toe was great to watch. But, he’ll learn from it. He’s only 16, so he’ll learn from that.

“We’re obviously disappointed to draw, but we’ve done brilliantly today.”

Stanley Mills, who featured on the bench for the First Team in Saturday’s clash against Fulham, opened the scoring for the Under-21s. He lobbed the Liverpool goalkeeper to send the Blues into an early lead.

Tait was full of praise for Mills after his impressive performance.

“He’s an excellent finisher, Stan (Mills),” said Tait. “He makes great runs to get in behind, and he can finish with both feet. He scored today with his weak foot by lobbing the keeper. He probably should’ve scored again, but he’s certainly a threat.”

Despite so many positives, Tait admitted it was frustrating not to win the game after being the better side throughout. However, he believes his side will learn to add a ruthlessness in attack.

“We missed some gilt-edged opportunities,” he acknowledged. “At 1-0, you’re thinking that if you don’t take your chances, you leave yourselves open at the other end. That’s what happened eventually.

“It’s a learning curve. The lads have got to be ruthless and clinical. I think, when young players miss chances, it can impact their confidence. Whereas, when you’re a seasoned centre-forward, you can miss opportunities and you’re still relishing the next one. It happens in football.

“Regardless though, I was really pleased and proud of for the lads because of a great performance.”

The Under-21s are back in action on Monday 24 April (7pm BST) as they travel to take on Leicester City.