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Martinez praise for Mirallas

Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes Kevin Mirallas has proved he can operate in a central striking role for the Premier League side.

Last Updated: 19/09/13 at 12:27 Post Comment

Kevin Mirallas: Everton forward takes on Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic

Kevin Mirallas: Everton forward takes on Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic

The former Olympiakos player, who is more used to featuring out wide or as an attacking midfielder for the Toffees, was pushed up to lead the line during the 1-0 victory over Chelsea last weekend.

With Arouna Kone injured and Romelu Lukaku ineligible against his parent club, Martinez moved the 25-year-old to be the focal point of the attack after substituting Nikica Jelavic in the 66th minute.

And he responded with an assured display, causing problems for Chelsea's defence on several occasions as Everton held out for an impressive victory.

"Kevin Mirallas is now in a stage of his career where he can play in many positions and understand a different way of playing," Martinez told the club's official website.

"He played in that position at his previous club Olympiakos, so we are all very aware of that option.

"At that time [in the Chelsea game], we were defending really well and were comfortable, but it is important to have pace and mobility up front. Kevin always gave us that outlet and that real threat going forward.

"We need to be able to adjust and adapt and Kevin as an individual showed what he can do."

Martinez was also quick to pay tribute to Leon Osman, who continues to demonstrate his worth to the Merseyside club despite the recent signings of fellow midfielders Gareth Barry and James McCarthy.

He told the Liverpool Echo: "Leon is more than just a footballer. He represents Everton. He's an incredible guide to the young players.

"I want the strongest squad we can have and then it's down to the performances of the players and Leon has been outstanding this season.

"Nobody has a label of what their role is going to be at the club. I don't sit down at my desk and pick the team - I allow football to make that decision.

"Leon has been fantastic so far and it's someone else's job to try and get him out of that position. His influence in the team is beyond playing or not playing."

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