Everton manager David Moyes has praised the attitude of winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov during a "difficult time" for the Russia international.
After a couple of substitute appearances he made back-to-back starts in mid-September but with the emergence of loan signing Royston Drente the 26-year-old found himself watching mostly from the bench. The Russian has been linked with a move away from Goodison Park this season but Moyes is hopeful the player will come good again.
"We have given him lots of opportunities. I would hate to think people believe we haven't, but of course when players are out of the side they are bursting for an opportunity," he told evertonfc.com
Moyes added: "Players at this level realise when you don't play well you can't expect to play but I think they also want the manager to give them a bit of confidence, to pick them again and say 'Come on, can you do it again?'.
"He did quite well early in the season but then I decided to make some changes and he missed out and he was really unlucky in that sense. What he wants is to be given an opportunity, he wants a chance like all players do.
"But I have to say he's never complained for a minute. He's got on with his work, he's been a pleasure every day in training. If people aren't aware of the effort he puts in then they should realise that he's a top professional.
"He sometimes doesn't get enough credit. He's actually a boy who is desperate to do well, a really conscientious worker.
"It's been a difficult time for him and we hope he can continue like this."