Peter Reid insists James McCarthy must not change his all-action, combative style.
The summer signing has four yellow cards to his name this season and another booking would incur a one-game suspension.
McCarthy has never been dismissed during his time in the English game but he did receive a combined total of 10 cautions last term, in both domestic and international football.
And Reid - a player who occupied a similar midfield position and showed just as much endeavour during his time with Everton in the 1980s – believes the 23-year-old’s influence would be reduced if he compromised his tenacious approach.
“You can’t take that side of the player’s game away because it would lose part of him,” said Reid. “He’s just got to be disciplined.
“But if you get a yellow card in football these days, I don’t think you are doing too much wrong.
“I know the game moves on and they don’t like tackling from behind and over the top challenges but players are getting booked for good, physical challenges.”
McCarthy has made nine appearances for Everton since completing his switch from Wigan Athletic on transfer deadline day.
On the evidence displayed so far, Reid is convinced that the fee will prove to be money well spent.
He continued: “I saw James play for Wigan once or twice and I thought he was excellent. He can handle the ball and I think he has made a really good start to his Everton career.
“Besides getting about the pitch, disrupting the opposition and making tackles, I also think he keeps possession well. When you talk about midfielders, I think he has got the full range of ability.
“In relative terms when you look at some of the prices that have been paid, I thought the money Everton paid for him was quite reasonable.”