Sam Allardyce has described James McCarthy’s performance for Everton as "the shining light" in their defeat to Manchester United at Goodison Park.
McCarthy was brought on when it was 1-0 to the visitors, and didn’t get the most positive reception from the home supporters, but drove his side on prior to Jesse Lingard’s clinching goal for United.
"We recovered from going a goal down," said the Everton boss. "James McCarthy, for me, was the shining light of the recovery, because he actually went and tackled somebody and showed the rest of our team how we had to go about our job.
"We’d worked our way back into the game. We looked a threat again which we hadn’t for that 20-minute period in the second half and the game was in the balance with 10 minutes to go.
"We have a throw-in, in our half, and we throw it straight to Manchester United and they go and score. Maybe it’s fatigue with all the games we’ve played, maybe it’s a lack of concentration - but certainly it will not go without me dealing with those sort of situations when I get the opportunity to do so.
"Overall, I don’t think the performance was too bad apart that 20-minute or so spell in the second half. We’ve got to keep trying to improve and grow from here."