Everton manager Roberto Martinez has admitted that he rushed midfielder Ross Barkley back from injury too soon.

The young star returned to the side for the recent Merseyside derby against Liverpool at Anfield.

Barkley's surprise inclusion was intended to give the injury-hit Blues a boost, but the move backfired as the Reds ran riot 4-0.

The 20-year-old was then brought off at the interval against Aston Villa on February 1, and was given just 26 minutes in the 1-0 defeat to Spurs last weekend.

"I think Ross is so eager to play and make himself available I did bring him back too early, especially against Aston Villa," said the Everton boss.

"When you come back you get through with adrenaline but it is when you need to rest from that first game, he needed more time.

"It was too early for him to start the game (against Villa) but Ross is a young man who can get through anything.

"You have to be careful because he will never be conscious he is feeling any pain.