Tait On Chermiti's 'Rewards' In Comeback Win

Everton Under-21s Head Coach Paul Tait expressed his delight at the young Blues reaching the semi-finals of the Premier League International Cup, after they overcame Fulham on Monday evening.

The Toffees fought back from a one-goal deficit at half-time to produce a well-earned 3-1 victory at Walton Hall Park.

Michael Keane – in the side from the off with fellow Senior-Team members Nathan Patterson and Youssef Chermiti – powered home a header to equalise for the Blues.

The second and third were both scored by Chermiti, who was sent off during the final moments of the game for a second yellow card, reducing the Toffees to nine men after Charlie Whitaker was also dismissed minutes earlier.

Despite this, Everton earned the victory, and Tait, speaking on how his side managed to produce the comeback win, told evertonfc.com: “In the first half you could tell that we hadn’t really played together as a unit.

“We had the boys coming down from the first team and others coming back from injuries and we lacked a bit of momentum and rhythm. We had a lot of the ball without threatening.

“The second half was much more like an Everton performance. We were on the front foot and the press was much better. We were more of a threat going forward. We spoke about the 10 minutes after half-time being really important and we turned the game on its head getting that first goal.

“I’m made up because it’s really good for our season. Let’s see who we get in the next round, and it would be fantastic to reach the final.”

The result sees Everton progress to the last four of the competition, where they join the previous year’s winners PSV Eindhoven, as well as West Ham United and Crystal Palace.

Chermiti’s double take him to three goals in his past two games in the tournament, with the young forward also finding the net against Benfica during a 2-1 win in January.

The 19-year-old Portuguese played a significant part, said Tait, who discussed the performances of Chermiti, Keane, and Patterson.

“Youssef worked very hard,” he added. “If you’re playing as a nine and you put a shift in, you get your rewards, which he did tonight.  

“Keano’s attitude was excellent. He headed everything that came into our box, and he got us a really important goal from a set-piece. Patto was excellent and really helped us out.”