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Naismith: We have cover for Barkley

by | 18/08/2014  Comments (46)  jump
Steven Naismith says that Everton can cope without Ross Barkley while the young England international is out injured with the knee injury he suffered on Friday.

Everton are waiting to find out the full extent of the damage Barkley sustained to his medial knee ligament but manager Roberto Martinez has already indicated that it could be anywhere from six weeks to four of five months.

Naismith, one of Everton's scorers in the season opener against Leicester City on Saturday and one of the players most likely to be asked to step into the void left by Barkley, believes the Blues have cover for that part of the field, though.

"We worked all week and everyone was ready for the game," Naismith said. "I don't think anyone was expecting that if Ross could not play it would be a disaster.

"We had good players on the bench such as Osman and Mirallas. These are established players who have missed out so we definitely have enough players to cover it and excel in their positions."

Martinez was expected to make use of the final two weeks of the transfer window by bringing in at least one new player but it is not clear whether losing Barkley for any significant length of time — i.e. months rather than weeks — will spur him into signing another option in the forward areas of his squad.

The Catalan did not show his cards in the aftermath of the draw at King Power Stadium, telling reporters: “We're expecting the next set of scans [of Barkley's knee] on Wednesday or Thursday just to make sure the inflammation is not in the knee and then we'll know exactly where he is.”

“A medial ligament injury can go from six weeks to a longer period but in any case it's not an injury that should rule him out for the season. Injuries and suspensions are something that is part of the game. I don't see that as a major problem or disadvantage.

"It's important that we get Ross back as quickly as we can because September is going to be a very busy month and without Ross it's going to put more pressure and strains on the squad.”  

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