Martinez pleased with players' response

, 31 March, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
'I have huge confidence in this squad'

Roberto Martinez has credited his Everton players for the manner in which they responded to the disappointment of defeat at Tottenham and Chelsea by winning five games on the spin to close the gap to Arsenal in fourth.

The 40 year-old Catalan has been delighted with how the team learned from the frustration of putting in two impressive displays in the Capital in February only to come away with no points.

Though the Blues have not been consistently been at their best in recent weeks, they have found ways to take maximum points, sometimes from a variety of sources within the squad.

It's fair to say in the last five league games we have not been fantastic in every game," Martinez admitted, "but we have found a way to be competitive and know what to do during the game and make sure the results have been positive.

We are delighted with the return of points at this stage of the season and we have another 21 points to fight for. And as you saw on Sunday [against Fulham], we are ready to give everything we've got.

He is buoyed by the options at this disposal at this crucial phase of the season, a depth illustrated perfectly at Craven Cottage as all three of his substitutes helped secure a 3-1 victory.

I have huge confidence in this squad, Martinez continued. "The biggest compliment I could give is that I could pick any 11 from the players in our squad and play the way we want to play and show the concepts we want to have as a team.

That is down to the standards we have at Finch Farm each day and the experienced players are the real pillars of this group.

So, I always believe that you are only as good as your squad. The days of relying on 11 players are gone. We have been missing our club captain (Phil Jagielka) for a while now but we have a 19-year-old (John Stones) coming in and showing an incredible arrogance and level of how to play centre-half.

Now, with Arsenal the visitors to Goodison this coming Sunday, Everton are preparing for arguably the most important match of their season, certainly since the FA Cup semi-final against the same club.

An Everton win would be a first over the Gunners in 14 meetings but it would reduce the gap between the two teams to just one point and increase the Blues' momentum on the chase for Champions League qualification, something that seemed almost unthinkable after the defeat at Stamford Bridge.

"Football miracles do happen," Martinez added. We always embrace the challenge. If we can be perfect in what we do then we have a great chance of getting points.

Quotes sourced from Liverpool Echo

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