'We're ready to compete against anyone'

, 4 December, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent

Roberto Martinez is making all the right noises ahead of the fascinating meeting with Manchester United, saying that he and his Everton team need to address the club's poor away record against the traditional "Sky Four" teams.

Wednesday evening's trip along the M62 will see the Spaniard oversee the first of four fixtures this season that Everton failed to win at all during 11 years under David Moyes and he is keen to change the psychology with which the Blues have approached these types of games.

"We've not won away at Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool for 10 years," Martinez said. "We need to address that.

We know that going to Old Trafford is going to be one of the hardest games of the campaign but, in the same manner, we know that if we want to be successful this season, we need to be able to go to places like that and be ourselves and hit the best possible level of performance.

I'm really, really excited to see the players enjoying their football on Wednesday," he continued. "We've got the quality, and we've got the support of our fans when we go to these places, so I don't see why we shouldn't be performing in the same manner as we do at home."

While his predecessor admitted back in July to a good deal of trepidation at visiting United when he was manager of Everton, acknowledging that, "[y]ou want to get out of Old Trafford alive, that used to be our saying, Martinez is of the opposite mindset, particularly given the quality of his squad.

While he is cognisant of the superior resources and bigger budgets of these clubs, Martinez is confident that he can work within his own constraints and abilities to find a way to beat them.

We need to be ourselves, he said. The challenge is can we go into the big places like Old Trafford, the Emirates, Anfield and Stamford Bridge and get wins?

We need to be creative from a football point of view. Unless you experiment on the pitch you will never be able to beat teams with bigger budgets."

With an observation that gets to the heart of many Evertonians' biggest disappointment with Moyes's mentality, the Spaniard explained: If you want to assess any sort of dynamics you want to be brave and trying and win games rather than just being in a position where you want to keep a clean sheet and get through in damage- limitation situations.

I feel we are ready to compete against anyone at Everton, my next step is to make sure I can give an advantage to the players so that they can compete against anyone wherever they are in the league.

Everyone who supports the club would expect Everton to go to Old Trafford, perform well and try to win the game."

While United's self-anointed "Theatre of Dreams" has been a fortress for so much of the Premier League era — they have averaged a little over one home defeat a season over the past decade — their uncertain start under Moyes has already seen them lose on home soil, that a 2-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion at the end of September. They also had to come from behind twice to beat Stoke City recently and have been held to two home draws.


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