By Aramide Oladipo
Everton caretaker boss David Unsworth has revealed that summer signing Wayne Rooney delivered the pre-match team talk before the important league clash against Crystal Palace on the weekend.
The 32-year-old was an unused substitute for the entertaining 2-2 draw at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Toffees twice responded to earn a valuable point with Leighton Baines and Oumar Niasse getting on the scoresheet after strikes from James McArthur and Wilfred Zaha in the first-half.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Unsworth heaped huge praise on Rooney for delivering the pre-match speech despite being named on the substitutes bench.
“Every player that I’ve coached and managed gets treated the same and Wayne has been outstanding,” he said.
“He was brilliant in the changing room before the game. He’s a leader and you make decisions you feel is right for the game at the right time. Wayne is a top game.
“The evidence for me was that he was driving the team on before the game, before I had spoken to them, saying all the right things and it’s a squad game.”
Rooney enjoyed a sensational start on his return to Merseyside, scoring in his first league matches against Stoke City and Manchester City.
However, the forward’s influence on the team has laboured and as a result, he has failed to complete an entire Premier League match since the 3-0 defeat at the hands of Tottenham in September.
The former England skipper has delivered the goods for the team, notching up five goals in all competitions – only Oumar Niasse has scored more times for the Toffees this season.
Rooney will be desperate to feature in the Europa League clash against Lyon on Thursday evening.
In other Everton news, Mark Clattenburg slams this Everton man for incident in the Palace match.