English Premiership

Everton to give youth a chance

2014-12-12 19:18
Roberto Martinez (AFP)

London - Everton are ready to give youth a chance after impressive recent performances by the Premier League club's academy players, manager Roberto Martinez said on Friday.

The Toffees' manager handed starts to youngsters Conor McAleny, Ryan Ledson, Luke Garbutt and Tyias Browning in Thursday's 1-0 Europa League home defeat to FC Krasnodar, with Everton already qualified for the last 32.

Despite the defeat, Martinez was impressed by the academy products and said he will give them more opportunities in the first team this season.

"I think I know now exactly what these young players need to get close to fulfilling their potential," he told a news conference.

"There's a couple of players who I feel need to play week in, week out in the league and maybe a couple of loan periods will be what they need. And then we've got another two or three players that I feel are ready to participate in the first team and really try to fight for their place.

"You're looking at the talent that we have and it's really exciting for the future," he said.

Greater options amongst a small squad will please Martinez, with his team struggling to find form. Everton are 12th in the table and without a league win in three games.

They host 17th-placed Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League on Monday with Steven Naismith, James McCarthy, Darron Gibson and John Stones all facing fitness tests on injuries to assess whether they will be involved.

QPR have lost all seven of their away games in the league this season, but Martinez says his team will not underestimate the visitors.

"In other leagues, you can count maybe three or four games that you can just cruise through, that is not the case in the Premier League," the Everton manager explained.


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