Everton fullback Leighton Baines says they must not place too much expectation on Ross Barkley.
Barkley has yet to recapture the sparkling form he displayed before suffering a broken toe at the start of January.
But Baines told the Liverpool Echo: “Over the course of a season every player's form will fluctuate, usually more when you are young because you are still learning and developing.
“What we have to do is be careful not to weigh him down with too much expectancy this early in his career.
“Ross is still going through these development years and discovering new things. The great thing for him is that this season he has had more football than before and been allowed to grow in that way, and both us and him will see the fruits of that further down the line.
“I've been in the same boat this season with a similar injury and there is still pain after you come back. We need to show him patience and understanding.”
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