Mehmet Ali expressed satisfaction with his team's second-half performance as they battled to a 1-1 draw against Everton in the Premier League 2 on Friday night.
After a cautious first half, the deadlock was finally broken minutes into the second half when Jimi Gower's shot found the back of the net with a fortuitous deflection. However, Everton managed to salvage a point late in the game when Bradley Moonan headed in from a corner.
Reflecting on the match, Mehmet said, "Earning a point away from home is a positive, especially considering our slow start."
He continued, "At halftime, with the score at 0-0, we regrouped and came out stronger in the second half. We took the initiative, pressed higher, and deservedly scored a goal. Although it would have been ideal to secure the win, Everton pushed forward with two strikers and equalized towards the end."
Mehmet was particularly impressed by the stark improvement in his team's performance between the first and second halves and shared his halftime instructions, saying, "I urged them to press aggressively, maintain their composure, and play with courage. It's easy to abandon our style when we make mistakes, but they persevered, which was crucial in scoring our opening goal."
He added, "There are many lessons to be learned from tonight's game, and we saw some standout performances. We will continue to push forward and build on these positives."
Mehmet concluded by expressing his joy at Charles Sagoe Jr making his full senior debut for Arsenal in the midweek Carabao Cup win over Brentford. Sagoe Jr’s impressive start to the U21s season earned him a 68-minute cameo at the Gtech Community Stadium.
"It's a fantastic achievement," Mehmet remarked. "Charles's journey is remarkable, and it reflects the hard work put in by everyone involved, from the coaches at Hale End to London Colney. Mikel's trust in him to provide this opportunity is a testament to Charles's dedication."
He continued, "It serves as a great example for the other players, illustrating that hard work pays off, and we will continue to support and develop these young talents."
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