Everton captain Phil Jagielka praised the character of Ross Barkley after the midfielder capped a difficult week with a man-of-the-match performance.
The 23-year-old created the important second goal in the 3-1 win over Burnley as part of a mature performance full of responsibility.
Jagielka said Barkley had coped well with the media storm which began with him hitting the headlines after being allegedly punched on a night out last Sunday, and then becoming inadvertently embroiled in the row which saw The Sun newspaper banned from the club after derogatory comments about him by columnist Kelvin MacKenzie.
“I’ve known Ross for a long time now. He’s been around the first-team for a long, long time and nothing fazes him,” Jagielka told evertontv.
“These things can happen. It’s not ideal but, character-wise, he was still out there for the Academy Day this week and joined in.
“He’s a normal lad who likes to play football and I’m going to give him that goal, even though it might only go down as an assist.”