By Adefunmiloye Alani

23rd Nov, 2021 | 10:10pm

David Unsworth showers praise on Branthwaite and Simms after under-23s win

Everton duo Jarrad Branthwaite and Ellis Simms played for the under-23s on Monday night, and David Unsworth was impressed.

The Toffees under-23 manager showered praise on them via the club’s official website after the game, insisting their attitude after dropping down from the senior team left him pleased.

Both Branthwaite and Simms have had periods out through injury this season, but they featured in the first-half in the 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League 2.

“They were outstanding,” Unsworth told Evertonfc.com.

“It’s not just their performances, but their attitude to stepping down to the Under-23s.

“They’re now First-Team players, which is brilliant. They’ve had their time with us and they’ve been a pleasure to work with.

“Their attitude was outstanding and that’s all you can ask when the First-Team boys step down. All credit to them.”

Handy minutes

Everton have had a lot of injuries this season, and Branthwaite and Simms needed to get those minutes into their legs in preparation for the coming fixtures.

With plenty of Premier League games to come heading into 2022, Rafa Benitez will have to rotate his squad going forward to prevent further injuries, and the centre-back and striker are likely to get their chances.

Yerry Mina is yet to return to action, and Branthwaite could be getting to play as he keeps providing cover from the bench.

Demarai Gray picked up a knock in the early minutes against Manchester City on Sunday, and with Dominic Calvert-Lewin still out injured and Richarlison set to miss the Brentford clash due to suspension, Simms could be making an appearance this weekend.

Monday’s game would have helped the young striker with earning some match fitness and rhythm, and he will be ready to take his chance if he is handed an opportunity.

In other Everton news, the Toffees are plotting January loan-to-buy bid for centre-mid hailed by Jack Grealish last month.

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