Roberto Martinez has praised Everton’s makeshift defence for coping so well in recent weeks, and in particular, during the Merseyside derby.
Shorn of three of their regular back four in Seamus Coleman, John Stones and Leighton Baines, the stand-ins have stepped up and did a good job keeping Liverpool quiet in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.
Tyias Browning, Brendan Galloway and Ramiro Funes Mori had just 17 minutes of derby experience between them – all belonging to Browning – but they helped extend Everton’s unbeaten run to seven matches in all competitions.
“Tyias performed with defensive arrogance, Brendan brings a smile to your face and Funes Mori and Phil Jagielka looked like a partnership that had been performing for years,” Martinez said.
“Phil Jagielka has been the most consistent and best English centre-back in the last 12 months. It is no coincidence anyone around him performs.”
Captain Jagielka is the only Toffees defender to play every minute of every match this season.
He, too, has been pleased with way the replacements have slotted in during an injury crisis.
“We knew with injuries it would be a test for the lads and they tried their hardest,” he told evertontv.
“It is all part of their learning curve and fantastic for them.
“It is also great for Ramiro getting this game time and learning the English game.”
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