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Taylor: Everton win can kick-start U18s' season

PREVIEW: U18s boss Gareth Taylor.

PREVIEW: U18s boss Gareth Taylor.

Gareth Taylor hopes City Under-18s’ superb 6-1 triumph over Everton will spark a strong finish to the season.

The young Blues returned to winning ways in sensational fashion, courtesy of a Keke Simmonds hat-trick, plus a Henri Ogunby brace and Nabil Touaizi strike, having struggled for results since the winter break.

Manager Taylor believes it was only a matter of time before his side produced such a ruthless performance and has urged his side to build on the victory and gain momentum as the campaign nears its conclusion.

“Hopefully, the result will give the lads a bit of confidence,” he told ManCity.com. “I think that result has been coming.

“This team deserves to score goals. We played some good stuff at times and scored some excellent goals.

“We’ve been disappointed with our previous results. Although some of our performances have been quite good, we just haven’t either got the goal or defended as well as we should.

“It was only the second time we have played at the Academy Stadium. Although people say it’s still two goals and the same size dimensions, you could see a few of the lads were quite leggy.

“That – on top of not having consistent games – has been a bit of a problem for us. Since Christmas, we’ve had a lot of games called off and have been unable to fulfil a lot of fixtures.

“In general, there has been some good play. I think that word ‘momentum’ has been key with us. We haven’t been able to get a consistent run of games or result under our belt but this is a really good week for us and we’ve got off to a good start.”

Reflecting on the triumph over the Toffees, the Blues boss was naturally delighted with his side’s creativity in addition to their mental strength, having rallied after conceding to halve the deficit.

“It’s pleasing,” he added. “The game in the first half was a little bit closer than it was in the second period.

“We changed things around slightly, which probably made us lose our momentum, but then we tweaked things a little bit at half-time and in the second half, we opened up and stretched our legs and went further ahead, especially when they lost the player (Elliot Richards) to a red card.

READ: City U18s 6-1 Everton

READ: Simmonds targets season finale flourish

“Some of the performances were really good. I thought Rowan McDonald did great in the midfield position and when your front three score six goals between them, they’ve had a really good day!

“You’d want to be a striker in this team – you’re getting balls being put in across the face of goal and pull-backs, so you’re always pretty confident you’re going to get chances in a game.

“We always want to play well – that’s the most important thing. If we play well, we’ve got a good chance in terms of the result.

“Now, it’s time to rest and recover before we go to Blackburn on Tuesday. Then, we play Manchester United on Saturday so there’s lots to look forward to.

“We had a good start to the season and we’ve had a bit of an inconsistent period after Christmas but hopefully now, Saturday’s win can give us a bit of confidence and momentum and we can finish off the final games strongly.”

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Simmonds targets season finale flourish

HAT-TRICK HERO: Keke Simmonds bagged three in the 6-1 triumph over Everton

Keke Simmonds has urged City to build on the superb 6-1 triumph over Everton, to finish the Under-18s league season in the highest possible position.

The forward netted a hat-trick in the stunning victory over the Toffees, alongside a Henri Ogunby brace and a Nabil Touaizi strike, as the young Blues ran riot in the second half.

Match Report

Report: City U18s 6-1 Everton

ALL SMILES: Manchester City Under-18s are hoping for more success over the 2018/19 campaign

It was a case of six of the best for City Under-18s, as the young Blues thrashed Everton 6-1 at a rain-soaked Academy Stadium.

A hat-trick from Keke Simmonds, plus a Henry Ogunby brace and a Nabil Touaizi strike earned a thoroughly deserved triumph, as the home side produced a sensational second half display to secure a return to winning ways in the U18 Premier League.

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