David Unsworth hails 'fantastic' Joel Robles' performance for Everton under-21's

Everton under-21 boss David Unsworth was pleased with the performance that Joel Robles put in against Sunderland's development side in a 1-1 draw.

Everton under-21 boss David Unsworth has praised Joel Robles' 'fantastic' performance for the development side against Sunderland on the club's official website

Robles started in goal for the Toffees' under-21 team and made a string of fine saves to ensure that the Merseyside outfit claimed a point from the fixture in a 1-1 draw. 

The Spanish stopper played in the match alongside Leon Osman and Darron Gibson, and Unsworth was pleased with the way all three acquitted themselves. 

"It was great for Leon and Darron to get some game time," Unsworth said. "They were much-needed minutes for them and it was great to see two senior boys applying themselves in a great way, as you would expect.

"I thought Joel in goal was also fantastic and it's part of the job to help the senior players get those minutes when they need them, so we are happy with that."

Everton are likely to use all three of the aforementioned players in their first-team this season, at some stage, so their encouraging performances for the development side will be well received. 

Robles has pushed Tim Howard for a first-team place before, but the American is currently in good form - meaning that he may have to be patient and wait for a window of opportunity to present itself.

Osman and Gibson, meanwhile, are both searching for full fitness, having spent time out injured of late. 

Everton's goal in the match was scored by new signing Leandro Rodriguez, and he was another player who received praise from Unsworth. 

"It was a great finish from Leandro," he added. "He had a couple of other efforts and I thought he looked lively. His fitness is getting there and we'll have to build that up slowly and give him as many minutes as we can.

"But he certainly looks a threat and going off the last two performances, when he gets the ball in the box, when he gets these opportunities, he looks like he can finish."

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch