Sam Allardyce has praised James McCarthy as Everton’s “shining light” against Manchester United on Sunday.
The Republic of Ireland international came off the bench in the second half as the Toffees were beaten 2-0 by United at Goodison Park.
Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingaard grabbed the goals in an impressive win for the Red Devils, but Allardyce singled his combative midfielder out for praise.
“We recovered from going a goal down with our substitutes and 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 to we had to go about our job in shutting Manchester United down,” the former England manager said.
McCarthy has been ravaged by injuries in recent seasons, and made just two league starts in 2017.
Allardyce claimed that injuries are playing on the former Wigan midfielder’s mind, and that the club are handling the 27 year old “delicately”.
“There is still some doubt in James’ mind because of the length of time he has been out and the injury recurring in the same area. We are delicately managing it, like we have with Yannick Bolasie.
“It’s not an ideal situation to be in — and James McCarthy has been out for 18-months to two years which is even longer than Yannick, even though it has been a lot of little injuries rather than one serious injury.
“We will try and overcome that problem.”