Alan Stubbs heaped praise on John Lundstram after the midfielder’s all-action performance against Real Betis B.
Stubbs hailed the 19-year-old as the ‘most exceptional player on the pitch’ following Wednesday’s draw in Jerez
Lundstram provided the assist for Chris Long’s second-half equaliser – just one of several quality instances which impressed the Under-21s coach.
Stubbs told evertontv: “I don’t like to single out players too often but I have got to say John Lundstram was outstanding today. From start to finish he was the most exceptional player on the pitch.
“I thought he gave a man’s performance and that’s a big thing. With John we always thought he was a little bit inexperienced and plays a bit young, but I have got to say that today he gave a mature performance.
“He’s cutting out the little mistakes that were in his game over the last couple of years.
“I think that sometimes it got a little bit easy for John and he switched off but now, after going out on loan, he realises that he has to set his own standards. They have raised and it’s great to see.”
Trailing 1-0 at half-time, Everton clawed themselves back into the game in difficult, sweltering conditions.
The Blues finished the game strongest and a draw was the minimum that Stubbs felt this team deserved.
He continued: “I thought we moved and passed the ball well. In the first 15 minutes we were well on top and a lack of care in the final third stopped us from creating as many chance as we should.
“Their goal was a little bit against the run of play but one thing I have never been able to question is the character and attitude of the lads. They didn’t disappoint and they came up trumps.
“In the second half we were more of a threat and we got forward more in numbers. I thought our goal was well-worked and an equaliser was fully justified.”