By Will Butcher

Phil Neville believes Everton star Ross Barkley has proven his doubters wrong after starring in the Toffees’ 2-0 victory over West Ham.

The former Everton stalwart was full of praise for the Merseyside giants’ number eight, who secured the three points with a superb finish during Sunday’s Premier League encounter.

Neville, who played for Everton between 2005 and 2013, posted on his personal Twitter account that he believes the Toffees’ academy product has gone some way to defying his critics with his second-half strike.

England international Barkley has been the victim of pressure from the media as he struggles to consistently prove his worth for both club and country.

However,  the former Leeds loanee was in excellent form against the Hammers, as Ronald Koeman’s side secured their fifth Premier League win of the season, ending a dismal run of five league and cup matches without victory.

Barkley, 22, has made 11 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring three goals as he looks to win back his place in Gareth Southgate’s England side.

Former Manchester United defender Neville, who is now a pundit with BBC, made 303 league and cup appearances for the Toffees during his eight-year stay in Merseyside.

The win for Everton pushes them up to sixth place on 18 points, five points off league leaders Manchester City.

In other Everton news, this senior Toffees ace could be in line to return against Chelsea.