Roberto Martinez believes that Sylvain Distin is ready to answer his critics and have a brilliant season at the heart of the Everton defence.
The French defender has faced increased scrutiny of his performances after a series of errors earlier on in the campaign, but Martinez believes he still has a part to play.
The centre-back is now 36-years-old and there has been question marks over whether he was past his peak, but his manager feels that Distin still has a lot to offer.
"He is ready to fight and have a memorable season," Martinez said to the Liverpool Echo.
“Last season was phenomenal from him to help us have 15 clean sheets.
“To have the influence he has starting play and his commanding displays. He still has that in abundance.
“What you get with Sylvain is that sometimes people look at his age and you’ve got comments about that but that’s not right. He’s young in football terms because of the way he looks after himself and works in the gym."
Distin's contract at Goodison Park expires this summer and Martinez also revealed that he would not be sitting down to discuss a new deal until January, at the earliest.
It means that the experienced defender has even more reason to prove his worth to the team in the coming months.
Distin is likely to have plenty of chances to do so, after John Stones' injury, too.
The young English centre-back appeared to have dislodged his veteran counterpart in the team, but a lengthy set-back means that the position alongside Phil Jagielka is available again.
The Toffees have improved considerably in recent weeks and, after climbing into the top-half, they will be looking to build on their good form by beating Swansea City this weekend.