English Premiership

Martinez wary of Saints

2014-12-18 13:40
Roberto Martinez (AFP)

London - Five consecutive defeats for Southampton suggests the over-achieving south coast club's season is on the wane, but Everton manager Roberto Martinez is wary of a backlash.

Everton travel to Southampton on Saturday on the back of a morale-boosting 3-1 win over Queens Park Rangers on Monday which lifted them to 10th in the Premier League, five points behind the fifth-placed Saints.

Ronald Koeman's Southampton began the season in tremendous form and were being tipped as genuine contenders for a top-four finish until consecutive league defeats by Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Burnley.

This week, the poor run continued when they were humbled in the League Cup quarter-finals by third tier side Sheffield United.

Yet Martinez warned on Thursday: "I don't assess Southampton in their current moment of form.

"I assess them over what they have done all season. They are a joy to watch. They are based on attacking football and full of flair. I really like watching Southampton and they are a team who can compete for the top six.

"I know how good Ronald Koeman is as a manager. His football influence is unique and huge."

While Everton, who finished fifth last season, have had a slow start to the current campaign, Martinez believes they can still be in the mix for European places come May.

"In the league we knew we dropped points and we are to blame for that," he said.

"The league will be decided in the last eight games of the season and we are trying to get as many points for that period to see how far we can go. We can beat anyone.

"I am very excited about the second half of the season because I can see something special."

Everton will be without midfielder Kevin Mirallas for the trip to Southampton after he was taken off the field on a stretcher against QPR, but the news is not too bad.

"We were very worried after the (QPR) game about Kevin because there was an action where you felt the ankle was damaged but the damage is the least it could be," he said.

"I don't expect him to be out for too long. The game on Saturday is a bit too early for him but I wouldn't rule him out of any of the fixtures over the Christmas period."


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Saturday, 23 February 2019
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 24 February 2019
Chelsea v Brighton & Hove Albion, Stamford Bridge 14:00
Arsenal v Southampton, Emirates Stadium 16:05
Manchester United v Liverpool, Old Trafford 16:05
Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Cardiff City v Everton, Cardiff City Stadium 21:45
Leicester City v Brighton & Hove Albion, King Power Stadium 21:45
Huddersfield Town v Wolverhampton Wanderers, The John Smith's Stadium 21:45
Newcastle United v Burnley, St. James' Park 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2018/19 season?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.