Paul Tait praised the way Everton Under-18s found a way to overcome “aggressive” Derby County as Ellis Simm’s double made it two wins from two for the young Blues.
Everton started brightly and hit the front when Simms cut inside on his left foot to open the scoring with just five minutes played.
Derby then landed a sucker punch midway through the first half as from unheard Blues penalty appeals, the hosts broke to level the score.
Tait’s side again came out stronger after the break and got the winner their efforts deserved when Mackenzie Hunt’s pinpoint pass split the home defence and allowed Simms to smash home his second of the game.
“I’ve got loads of respect for Derby’s academy, they do things in the right way, they're aggressive and they always give us a really competitive match,” said Tait.
“It was end to end and the tackles were flying in. We love playing them.
“It’s about how you stand up to that test and then come out the other end still able to play your football and show your technique and technical awareness that you’ve been working on in the week, and we managed to do that.
“We changed the system at half-time to stop them hurting us with their width and got a little bit more control, especially after our second goal. We limited them to a few set pieces and probably should have had a couple more goals ourselves.”
Having beaten Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 on the opening weekend, the Young Blues will now prepare to put their 100 per cent record on the line against Middlesbrough at USM Finch Farm on Saturday.
“It’s an encouraging start because we still don’t think we’ve played that well,” added Tait.
“We were a lot better defensively against Derby but we don’t think we’ve been as good as we can be in possession.
“We’re really pleased with the six points but we’re still wanting to see more from the lads.”
Watch the goals from Saturday’s game above or, if you are using the Official Everton App, navigate to the 'Video' section.