Everton FC under-21s captain Jonjoe Kenny can’t wait to lead his side into the derby with Liverpool tomorrow saying: “As a Scouser, this is my biggest game of the season.”
The Blues’ second string head for Chester FC’s ground to face their Reds counterparts on Monday night in a Premier League u-21 fixture.
Everton responded to losing their last league game 4-0 at Tottenham Hotspur with a deserved win over Sunderland on Thursday night in the Premier League International Cup.
Liverpool have won their last three league fixtures, including last Monday’s win over Chelsea, but 17-year-old Kenny is confident Everton will prevail at the Swansway Stadium.
Jerome Sinclair of Liverpool and Jonjoe Kenny in action
“As a Scouser, this is my biggest game of the season,” Kenny told the ECHO.
“I love playing against Liverpool and it can get heated but that is where we have got to keep calm and play our football.”
He added: “Form goes out of the window in derbies, it is about who wants to win it the most.
“We have good character and the lads are in good shape so I know we can go out there on Monday and win there.
“I don’t really look at Liverpool, we just concentrate on our game and what we can do. We’re confident.
Kristoffer Peterson of Liverpool and Jonjoe Kenny of Everton in action during the Barclays Premier League Under 21 fixture between Everton and Liverpool at Haig Avenue on April 14, 2014 in Southport, England. (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
“We’re a team, a proper team and we don’t have individuals, we stick together – that is the biggest strength we have in the group.”
Teenage defender Kenny skippered David Unsworth’s u-21s side once again this week, despite being one of the team’s youngest players.
And against Sunderland, the Kirkdale-born player captained a side that included veteran pros Leon Osman and Sylvain Distin.
Osman congratulated Kenny after the game on his performance and the way he led the team.
“It is a great feeling to captain them,” said Kenny. “I’ve watched them play since I was a kid and so to be able to captain them is a great feeling.
“He (Osman) is a big character at this club and he’s great to be around.”
Leon Osman enjoys a training session for Everton FC as Duncan Ferguson looks on.
Everton have dropped to seventh in the u-21 table although they remain just three points off the leaders Manchester United.
And Kenny says the players needed to show a reaction against Sunderland after losing to Spurs last week.
“That was the reaction we were after,” Kenny said.
“Ever since the defeat, this was always the biggest game for us and the reaction was massive. We showed the manager we do care and that we do want to win every game.”
Liverpool u-21 v Everton u-21 kicks off at 7pm tomorrow. Follow our liveblog for updates and read Phil Kirkbride’s match report online aferwards.