Martinez aware of psychological effects of raised expectations

, 16 December, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent

Roberto Martinez says that he was impressed by the way Everton were able to change their mentality after conceding the equaliser to Fulham and go on to win the match comfortably.

The manager admits that he feared the effects of mental fatigue on his team after two intense fixtures at Old Trafford and the Emirates but gave his players full credit for their ability to respond to the setbacks of losing Gerard Deulofeu to injury and Dimitar Berbatov's equaliser from the penalty spot that pegged them back to 1-1 with 23 minutes to go on Saturday.

We were concerned about this game and it showed in the first half because the concentration levels were fantastic and we kept Fulham to no shots on target, the Spaniard said.

The character of this side has never been in question. I thought it was a question of the mental fatigue that we had."

Martinez also showed his awareness of the added burden on his players that is coming from supporters' expectations based on the team's impressive run of recent form. With the challenge for the Premier League top four so tight, every game is vital and that fostered some anxiety among the Goodison crowd when the Blues' display dipped below the standards they have set this season.

"We started the second half feeling we've got something to lose here'," he continued, "and we need to be careful' — that is not us at all. Fulham equalise and in 75% of games like this the away team then goes on and wins it.

So for us to be able to have that mentality where we can switch into the right mood and try to win the game was very pleasing and very mature. But it is also telling me that we need to get ready for many more other games at Goodison where the crowd expects us to win.

Everton have two more home games before the end of the year, with Sunderland and then Southampton the visitors following Sunday's trip to Swansea.

Quotes or other material sourced from North Wales Weekly News

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