Edwards pleased with display in Everton stalemate

Despite being left frustrated by the result, under-23 head coach Rob Edwards was delighted with the performance from his side in their goalless draw with Everton at New Bucks Head.

The development side picked up their first point since being promoted into Premier League 2 Division 1 in their first home match of the season, but it could have been more for Edwards’ side had it not been for an inspired performance from Everton goalkeeper Nico Hansen, who made nine saves on Sunday afternoon to maintain his clean sheet.

On the goalless draw with Everton

“I’m really pleased with the performance and I think we did enough to win the game. Speaking to their goalkeeper coach as we were walking off and he said their keeper made nine saves today and he touched the ball 63 times.

“I asked him what the average usually is and he said normally 45, so I think it’s fair to say we had enough chances there to win the game - maybe two games to be honest.

“On the flip side of that Andreas (Sondergaard) made a really good save to deny them, maybe the only save that he had to make, but he did it, because it would have been similar to last week that it was frustrating to have chances but not take anything from it.

“I’m really pleased with the clean sheet, I’m really pleased with the performance and the good individual performances, and as a team we stuck to the game plan, played the way we do, and did it really well.

“It’s frustrating not to win the game, but results are a product of the performance and if we keep playing like that and performing that way then we’ll pick up more points than not.”

On continued improvements

“In the two games so far, we’ve still got a lot to work on, but there’s a lot there that I’m really pleased with as well.

“It was difficult at times to speed the game up and we had to be patient at times and speed it up at the right time, but we did that quite well in the wide areas, but Everton have a lot of know-how and they have some great players, a real work ethic, energy and aggression about them which we had to stand up to.

“But we really imprinted our game on them as well, and that was the pleasing thing.”

On difference between Division 2 and Division 1

“There is a difference; tactically I think teams are a little more astute and technically there’s a little but more there as well, but that’s no disrespect to the teams we played last year, who have some outstanding players – some of Manchester United’s players, we all know them.

“There is going to be a slightly higher level but that will be fantastic for our boys because we have some fantastic games this year and that’s what we want from them.

“They worked so hard last year to give them this opportunity and we want the next generation of players who are coming through to get the chance to play against the best teams, so we’re thoroughly enjoying it at the moment.”

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