Everton manager Roberto Martinez hailed Tyias Browning as "the best one-v-one defender at the club" after the 21-year-old's debut in a 0-0 draw at Swansea City.
Browning faced a tough test after being tasked with marking Jefferson Montero at the Liberty Stadium, but Martinez's faith in home-grown talent paid off as Browning helped Everton to their third clean sheet of the season.
Everton moved to sixth in the Premier League table after the draw, which maintained the club's record of never having lost to Swansea in a league fixture.
Martinez said of Browning: "He might not forgive me for pairing him with Montero on his first Premier League start.
"He's the best one-v-one defender at the club."
Martinez admitted his side were disappointed not to have followed up their 3-1 win over Chelsea with another three points, having had 17 shots at goal but registering only two on target.
He said: "The first half was very level. We needed to be more aggressive going forward with intent and that's why I’m pleased with the second.
"It's not normal to create that many chances and not score, so we're feeling deflated. The performances against Southampton and Chelsea set the standard."
Martinez defended Kevin Mirallas, who was sent off in injury time for a foul on Modou Barrow, saying: "He didn't have intention to hurt.
"I haven't seen it again but we'll look to see if we have grounds to appeal."
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