Everton under-21 coach Alan Stubbs has praised defender Shane Duffy after his side's 1-1 draw with Fulham under-21s.
The Republic of Ireland under-21 captain scored for the young Toffees side and crashed a shot off the cross-bar during the draw and Stubbs hailed the 21-year-old as one of the "stand-out peformers".
Tony Hibbert made a return to action after a four-month injury layover and Stubbs believes that the right-back's presence helped the youthful defence.
"The game was all about [Tony Hibbert] and getting him 60 minutes. That was the most important thing," Stubbs told evertontv.
"Just by him being there is a big help to the lads playing around him. His presence allowed Tyias [Browning] and Shane [Duffy] to play and know the right places where they should be.
"I thought that was evident in their displays because I thought they were our stand-out performers."
Duffy, who has made three appearances for David Moyes' side this season, is the current captain of Everton's under-21 side.