David Unsworth has urged his Under-23 squad to simply play the game and not the occasion when they travel to fifth-placed Chelsea on Friday night.
Heading into the fixture at at Aldershot’s Recreational Ground, the young Blues are just one win away from securing the Premier League 2 title.
But Unsworth and assistant coach John Ebbrell have reiterated to the players that they must approach the game as normal, despite being within touching distance of securing the championship crown.
Everton have won their last two league matches against Derby County and Tottenham Hotspur, putting them five points clear at the summit with just games against Chelsea and Liverpool remaining.
“That’s what John and I have tried to do for the last couple of weeks - you can’t get ahead of yourself in this game because it can come back to bite you,” said Unsworth. “We’ve just got to concentrate on the performance and put out the best team we can to try and win the game.
“The lads have been playing well. We’ve changed things around at half-time in a couple of games so we need to start better on Friday. We are looking for a quick start. We are happy with the performances lately and have been scoring a lot of goals.
“It will be a tough game and I’ve got a lot of respect for Chelsea over the last few years with producing top young talent. I know their manager [Adrian Viveash] - he’s a good guy and he’ll have them organised.
“Whatever team Chelsea put out, we are expecting a really tough game. We would never underestimate our opponents.”
In the 4-1 win over Spurs at Goodison Park last week, Muhamed Besic stepped up his comeback from a cruciate knee ligament injury by playing the first half.
It has been confirmed that the Bosnian will again play for the Under-23s on Friday evening.
Speaking on Thursday afternoon, Ronald Koeman said: “Mo will play his second game for the Under-23s. He is working hard. He is close to being back.”