Elland Road

Next Game

Leeds v Everton

Saturday, 01 August 2015, 15:00

Friendly Match

Last Game

Arsenal 3 - 1 Everton

Saturday, 18 July 2015, 13:30

Prem League Asia Trophy Final

Martinez: Win was vital

Roberto Martinez considers a 3-1 victory away at Fulham to be 'vital' as Everton continue to chase a top-four finish.

Last Updated: 30/03/14 at 16:48 Post Comment

The Toffees made it five wins in a row at Craven Cottage on Sunday to close to within four points of the UEFA Champions League places with a game in hand and a visit from Arsenal to come next weekend.

Martinez's men are very much in the hunt, and the Spaniard believes it is results such as the one secured in the capital in their latest outing which has the Merseyside outfit daring to dream.

Everton did not have things all their own way against rock-bottom Fulham, but a dogged second half display saw their substitutes make the difference as Steven Naismith forced an own goal from David Stockdale and netted the third himself after Kevin Mirallas had responded quickly to Ashkan Dejagah's leveller.

Martinez told Sky Sports on the importance of a hard-fought success: "It was vital. I do believe that these are the games that allow you to achieve aims or not.

"They are not the games with the glamorous opposition at home, but they are the type of games that, for one reason or another, can see the opposition stop you from being yourself and you can't be bright enough to use what you normally use and you drop points in moments like today.

"Then you need to understand that this is the stage of the season against a team that is fighting against relegation, I know it from my own experience that it can be quite difficult.

"So for us to be able to get five straight wins I think reflects the character and the work that these players have been putting in on a daily basis and I couldn't be prouder of them."

While the introduction of Naismith at the interval helped to turn the tide in Everton's favour, the fact that Ross Barkley had to be withdrawn to make way for the Scotsman offered cause for concern - with the England international nursing a calf complaint.

Asked for an update on the midfielder's fitness, Martinez added: "He's good. You need to understand that Ross has got a great frame and sometimes when you get a knock on soft tissue in such a demanding week, you are going to suffer.

"But in some ways he is a quick healer and we just hope he can be back for next week."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls

L

ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

paul7702
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

Footer 365

Andre Pirlo backs Liverpool's Mario Balotelli to prove his potential

Andrea Pirlo thinks Mario Balotelli can still be one of the "top forwards in Europe" despite his struggles at Liverpool.

West Brom reject approach from Aston Villa for Joleon Lescott

West Brom have rejected an approach from Aston Villa for central defender Joleon Lescott, according to reports.

Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla sign new deals with Arsenal

Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla have signed new contracts at Arsenal.

Mail Box

Neville Has It Wrong On Chelsea...

One Mailboxer says that the Neviller has it slightly wrong on Chelsea. Plus thoughts on sexy Saints, pre-season reviews, Connor Wickham and televised analysis...

De Gea Disrespectful? Remember RVP...

We got dozens of mails from people pointing and laughing at Brian D for suggesting David de Gea has acted disrespectfully; we printed some. And there's more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company