‘Fight’ was the word on Simon Davies' lips after he watched his side come from two goals down to beat Everton 4-3 in the Premier League 2.
Our EDS boss was full of praise for his youngsters, who scored four goals in the second half to register a third successive win, despite going down to 10-men.
Phil Foden and Lukas Nmecha were on target at Goodison Park, where City rallied after the hosts punished them for a slow start and Davies was delighted to see his side evidence their winning mentality, particularly after being pegged back once Joel Latibeaudiere had been sent off.
“To come from two goals down and lose a man after going 3-2 up; it’s all credit to the boys in the second half,” he said.
“We tried to change a few things at half-time, but it was the players who dug in when it went to 3-3.
“They could have easily had the attitude that a point was enough because we had gone down to 10 men, but they kept pushing and kept fighting and did extremely well.”
City created a host of chances in the second half, which was a stark contrast to the first 45 minutes in which Everton gave very little away and punished lapses in concentration to go in two goals ahead at the break.
The manager was frustrated to see his side twice conceded from a set piece, but was keen to highlight the quality of Everton’s performance, which was played at a tempo that often made life difficult for City.
“We conceded from another set piece in the second half, so in terms of concentration, it’s something we’ve got to work on,” Davies explained.
“But we must credit the opposition. Everton were really good today, especially in the first half.
“They got amongst us, were aggressive, organised and when they got a set piece, from which we were a little sloppy, they made us pay.
“The first goal was an individual error, so we’ve been punished for a couple of mistakes, which will happen at the top level, so it’s good practice for us.”
Character aside, Davies, though left feeling there was room for improvement, was pleased to see his players change their fortunes with their second half display.
And it was their work off the ball which was particularly satisfying for the manager, who says his developing talents do not need to look too far across the City Football Academy to see why that is so important.
“We speak about our first team and everyone talks about how good they are with the ball,” added the Welshman.
“But the most impressive thing for me is the way they get the ball back.
“You can make mistakes and be forgiven for that, but their attitude as a unit to go and get that ball back is second to none.
“We didn’t do that enough in the first half but in the second half we did.”