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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Distin Dazzled By Derby Debutants

by Rob Urbani @efc_roburbani

Everton could not have asked for more from their duo of derby debutants.

That was the verdict of seasoned campaigner Sylvain Distin after marvelling at the impact Steven Naismith and Kevin Mirallas had in Everton's valiant fightback on Sunday.

Naismith netted the equaliser that sealed a share of the spoils in the 2-2 thriller, while Mirallas was, for many, Everton's best player before his enforced withdrawal through injury at the interval.

That is an assessment Distin concurs with, adding: "I think Kevin did great. If he stayed on the pitch for the second half, we might have had a few more chances up front. He was playing really well going forward, providing good crosses as well and he could have scored a good goal today."

Naismith did find the target, rounding off an incisive move started by Mirallas and teed up by Marouane Fellaini in the 35th minute to send Goodison into delirium.

After an eye-catching cameo as a substitute at QPR, Distin believes the Scottish international is testament to the growing strength in depth within the Everton ranks.

He added: "Against QPR, he came on the pitch and did great. He carried on today and that's what we need.

"The squad is not only the 11 players on the pitch, it's those on the bench and those in the stand. You need a big squad if you want to have a good season."

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