Everton captain Phil Jagielka argued his side never lost faith in striker Arouna Kone, who led Roberto Martinez’s team to a 2-2 draw against Watford.
Kone came off the bench for the last 27 minutes on Saturday to set up his team’s first goal and score the second.
It was only Kone’s second league goal for the Goodison Park outfit, with the Ivory Coast international having struggled with a knee injury since following Martinez to the club.
But despite his lack of minutes on the pitch for Everton – Kone had managed just 993 at an average of 45.14 per game before the draw against Watford – Jagielka insisted the rest of Martinez’s squad always believed in the striker.
“It has been a tough period for him,” Jagielka told the Liverpool Echo.
“We all know he has quality, but the injury he had was a very serious one and it has taken him a while to recover.
“He has not had too much game time over the course of his Everton career.
“Obviously the main positive is him coming out of the game.
“He has a nice little set up for Ross’ [Barkley] goal and a fantastic finish for the equaliser.”
Kone entered the match with Everton trailing 1-0 but helped them level the match in the 76th minute when he controlled the ball in the box and laid off for Ross Barkley to smash it into the top corner.
After Odion Ighalo gave the visitors the lead again, Kone linked up with Romelu Lukaku to drive a second equaliser home from a tight angle in the 86th minute.
Jagielka was frustrated with how Everton allowed Watford to take the crowd out of the game with an early goal to Miguel Layun.
“The fans came out in their thousands and made a hell of a lot of noise especially in the beginning,” he said.
“It is up to us to keep them shouting rather than jeering and stuff and unfortunately in the first half we weren’t quite up to standard.”
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