Morgan Schneiderlin had to be withdrawn at half-time against Palace because of a toe problem
David Unsworth saw a gutsy display and signs of progress from his Everton team in Saturday's 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace.
The Blues recovered from yet again conceding the first goal to draw level from the penalty spot with just five minutes played at Selhurst Park after Oumar Niasse had gone down under a challenge from Scott Dann and Leighton Baines converted from 12 yards.
That cancelled out James McArthur's goal after just 50 seconds and Everton would have to equalise a second time at the end of the first half after Wilfried Zaha had restored the Eagles' lead.
Niasse was on the mark when he collected Gylfi Sigurdsson's pass and calmly slotted past Julian Speroni after the Palace goalkeeper had played Dann into trouble and Idrissa Gueye dispossessed him.
It wasn't a contest or display for the purists, however, with a forgettable second half, albeit one in which the visitors looked better defensively after Tom Davies had come on for Morgan Schneiderlin to add some pressure on the ball in the middle of the park.
Unsworth revealed after the game that the Frenchman's substitution was a forced on due to injury.
“I was delighted with the desire today to come back twice,” the stand-in boss said afterwards.
“You've got to show that little bit more quality. You can't expect just desire to get you results game after game in the Premier League.
“You've got to start somewhere and I feel there's been a steady improvement since I took the job.”
“We tweaked the way we went about it [in the second half]. We were forced to bring Tom Davies on at half-time. Morgan had an injection before the game on his toe and he was struggling with it.”
That change may also have contributed to the fact that Wayne Rooney didn't make it onto the pitch. The veteran watched from the bench as an un-used substitute and that led to inevitable questions of Unsworth.
“We picked a team and a squad of players that we thought would win a game,” he said. “There's no issue there.
“Wayne has been fantastic since I took over. He's trained brilliantly and been involved in all the games so there's no issue with Wayne.”