Under-23s Set For Top Of The Table Clash At Arsenal

Everton Under-23s captain Morgan Feeney believes the quality and togetherness of David Unsworth’s high-flying side can bring a repeat of 2017’s Premier League 2 title success. 

The young Blues travel to fellow contenders Arsenal on Monday night, with top spot in the league table on the line.

The Toffees head into the game aiming to rack up a fourth victory on the spin and Academy graduate Feeney revealed confidence is coursing through the veins of the squad.

The 19-year-old centre-back says the team spirit and winning mentality in the camp resembles that of the title-winning crop from two seasons ago. 

”With the quality of squad we’ve got, that’s always the ambition for us, to go on and win the league,” Feeney told evertontv.

“This year, there is a real togetherness and I go out there feeling like we’re not going to lose games at the minute. We’re a tight-knit bunch and we’re always looking out for each other on the pitch.

“It helps if you’re going for a league title and you’ve got a group like that, like we did a couple of years ago when we won the league. It’s a similar feeling.

“Even if we go a goal down, I feel we can go on and get an equaliser and even a winner. I always feel we’ve got enough to compete.”

Bootle-born Feeney got on the scoresheet as the Under-23s came from behind to beat West Ham United 2-1 at Southport in their last Premier League 2 clash.

The young Blues had fallen a goal down against the run of play at the Merseyrail Community Stadium before Feeney delivered a captain’s goal – arching his neck and powering home a Tyias Browning centre into the bottom corner.

The strike proved the catalyst for a dominant Everton display in the second half and Bassala Sambou completed the turnaround from the penalty spot 10 minutes from time.

Feeney’s goal was his first since returning to the side following knee surgery. The defender made his comeback in the 3-0 victory at Blackburn Rovers on August 31 after almost six months on the sidelines.

The lifelong Evertonian has since featured in a further five matches and revealed he is starting to feel stronger with each passing game. 

And he says seeing his header hit the back of the net against the Hammers was a special moment.

“The cross was a little bit behind me and I just thought, ‘I’ll throw everything at this’,” Feeney said. “It’s been a long time coming, I’ve been a long time out, so I had a bit of a mad celebration!

“It was massive for me.

“I’ve had a few games now and, if I look back at the first one, my match fitness has definitely improved.

“I’m getting there, slowly. It’s not something that happens overnight. It’s certainly feeling better, though, so that’s a good sign.

“And having scored a goal as well, it feels like it’s all coming together now.”

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