Toffees rally round Fellaini

Round also backs Beckford

Fellaini: At centre of controversy

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Everton have jumped to the defence of Marouane Fellaini following criticism of the midfielder's use of the elbow.

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Fellaini was lucky to escape a red card in Saturday's defeat to Newcastle after appearing to catch Mike Williamson on his head with his arm.

The Belgium international was booked for the offence and Everton assistant boss Steve Round insists the incident was not malicious.

"That might have been a bit of frustration," said Round.

"It's a reactive thing, it was not malicious. He is not that sort of guy.

"He is a combative player, very physical and wants to take the fight to the opposition. It was just one of those things."

As he received a yellow card from Andre Marriner, Fellaini is unlikely to face any further action and Round feels a sending off would have been too harsh anyway.

"A referee may have taken that view but I thought he got it right and a booking sufficed," continued Round.

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Another controversial challenge in Saturday's game from Everton's Jermaine Beckford led to Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper being carried off with a shoulder injury.

Of that incident, Round added: "I spoke to the (Newcastle) staff afterwards and they were not too critical.

"It wasn't really a malicious challenge. Steve Harper has gone over the top of the challenge.

"He [Beckford] deservedly got a booking but it was the way he [Harper] landed that caused the injury.

"We believe it is not too bad so hopefully 'Harps' will get better soon."