Cape Town - Everton manager Roberto Martinez has highlighted the importance of James McCarthy to the overall balance of the side, with the Spaniard admitting that the combative midfielder had been "missed" when he was out injured.
The Merseyside club won just four of the 11 games McCarthy was out for with a hip injury he picked up in November but since the 25-year-old's return, Everton have won four of five in all competitions and progressed to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
"We have missed James McCarthy. We have been a team that could score a goal against anyone but in the same way there have been times when we could concede against anyone as well," Martinez told British media.
"He gives you that balance and that understanding."
Everton, who are 11th in the Premier League table, travel to bottom side Aston Villa on Tuesday.