Roberto Martinez is desperate for his Everton side to get back to winning ways and wants to build on the Capital One Cup win over Norwich City at Goodison Park.
“We want to get our feeling on Tuesday into the league.” Martinez said. “It has been a really demanding start to the season but we are looking forward to the next nine games.”
Martinez on the opposition, Sunderland
Sunderland travel to Goodison Park in high spirits after a 3-0 win over their Tyne-Wear rivals Newcastle United. Everton picked up a win during the week and Martinez is looking to build on the Norwich win to stop a skid in the Premier League.
Martinez is always complimentary of his opposition and Sunderland are no different. The Spaniard said his Everton team will “respect” their opponents but his side have to get back to “enjoying football.”
He also acknowledged that Sunderland’s style of play has changed in a short time under new boss Sam Allardyce.
Martinez said that the Black Cats are a team that are “starting to understand” how to play in Allardyce’s system.
The goalkeeping debate
Joel Robles was Everton’s penalty hero against Norwich City but Martinez was clear to point out that Tim Howard is still the Toffees' number one.
Howard has come under criticism from Everton fans after a number of poor performances and after Robles' fine performance in the week, the Goodison faithful will not react well to another substandard performance from the American.
Martinez, however, sees it differently. He acknowledged that football is “about competition for places” and Joel did well to make his point.
The Everton boss credits Howard’s experience “when it’s needed most.” The Toffees are without captain Phil Jagielka and another experienced head in Gareth Barry so Martinez is looking for experience and guidance from somewhere.
Injuries and fitness
Roberto Martinez decided to make eight changes during the week, including leaving out Seamus Coleman. Martinez said the Republic of Ireland international is a “huge question mark” to play at the weekend.
Everton are still without Leighton Baines and Muhammed Besic but Martinez revealed that both are back in training.
He did however say it was “too early” for either of them to return from injury but their returns may come sooner than possible.
Romelu Lukaku transfer rumours
Romelu Lukaku’s new agent Mino Raiola linked the Belgian with a move away from Goodison Park saying Roberto Martinez will not block any move.
Martinez addressed the comment in his press conference by saying Romelu is in a “perfect moment to kick on” and the only thing that matters is playing for Everton.