English Premiership

Martinez keeps the faith

2014-09-25 09:39
Roberto Martinez (AFP)

Cape Town - Everton manager Roberto Martinez insists he is "not concerned" by his side's defensive frailties ahead of Saturday's Merseyside derby against Liverpool.

The Toffees crashed out of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday following a 3-0 defeat to Swansea in the third round, with goalkeeper Tim Howard having a particularly bad night.

Martinez has seen his defence keep just one clean sheet in their opening five Premier League games, while their goal has been breached 13 times this season.

And despite shipping three more goals at the Liberty Stadium in midweek, Martinez has backed Howard and company to emerge stronger from the unpleasant experience.

"I'm not obsessed about it, we kept 15 clean sheets last season and we are a team that can defend and keep clean sheets," the Spaniard said after the cup tie.

"I'm not concerned, even if you don't want the feeling you get when you lose football games.

"If he (Howard) had been a young goalkeeper maybe you think how he might be affected by those experiences. But he is in the best moment of his career and has got the control and experience (to deal with it).

"Those moments happen but we win and score goals as a team and it's the same when we lose and let in goals."

Goals from Nathan Dyer, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Marvin Emnes saw the Swans progress to the last 16 of the competition they won in 2013, and in the process seal a first-ever win over the Merseyside outfit.

Martinez, though, preferred to look on the bright side, after seeing Bryan Oviedo, Tony Hibbert and Darron Gibson make their long-awaited returns from injury.

He said: "We were looking for individual performances after making so many changes and we got that. Some individuals performed in a fantastic manner and I know they're going to help to the team really well.

"To see someone like Bryan Oviedo perform so well after a long injury was very pleasing, to see someone like Tony Hibbert after a long spell out from injury and play 90 minutes was very pleasing, to see someone like Antonin Alcaraz complete the 90 minutes was pleasing.

"To see someone like Luke Garbutt be a real sign of a player we are trying to develop at Everton and Darron Gibson play 90 minutes after 10 months out with injury was pleasing, so there were many positives in individual aspects."


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