Martinez: Jelavic must impress

Everton boss Roberto Martinez has urged striker Nikica Jelavic to battle for a starting role at Goodison Park.

Last Updated: 30/10/13 at 19:43 Post Comment

Nikica Jelavic: Has been forced to settle for substitutes role

Nikica Jelavic: Has been forced to settle for substitutes role

Martinez has chosen Romelu Lukaku to lead the line this season and the Belgian's impressive goalscoring form has forced Jelavic to settle for a place on the bench.

The Croatian remains part of Martinez's plans, but he admits Jelavic must continue to impress if he wants to regain his striking role.

"His attitude has been a 10 out of 10 and that's why when a player comes on as a sub he makes a big difference and the team benefits," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"It's a real focus to be as good as you can as an individual, but everything

comes down to the team so Niki, Arouna, and everyone who isn't starting needs to do what they can to help the team.

"In a competition of 10 months you need everyone ready, everyone working hard, and whoever is on the pitch benefits from that. Nikica Jelavic has been really important in the way he works.

"I thought he worked really hard in his early performances and they were really good."

Lukaku has already scored five goals for Everton and Martinez believes the strong competition for places is bringing the best out of the summer loan signing from Chelsea.

"When you see a player performing well on the pitch it's down to the player enjoying his football," he said.

"But as well, it's about the level we have in training and the competition we have for places. We have good options at number nine. Romelu Lukaku is starting games but Niki is essential and Arouna Kone is very important.

"That's what you want in the squad, the moment you lose that you're going to be affected by it. He's vital now, playing or not playing, and he'll carry on being vital until the end of the season."

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nd we always will love Ozil. I don't really mind if no other team can see just how brilliant he is, or if people think he is rubbish, because we know he is far from it. He is a fantastic player, and if people cannot see that it can only be a good thing, in that he will be at Arsenal for years to come, pulling the strings from behind a glass veil.

ganachus
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like the list and Ozil in particular does seem under appreciated when you look at his stats (an odd thing considering his fee or maybe because of it). Palace have a few and I've always thought Dwight Gayle at Palace was under rated, certainly when you look at his goals per game ratio. You can probably also add Ryan Bertrand at Saints who should be in the England team in my view.

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ew Shaun Wright Phillips, there I've said it. If any club offers stupid money we'd be stupid to say no, he's not a potential worldie by any stretch and I feel that after a few years warming the bench at city or Chelsea he'll be back at QPR smoking sheesha pipes under Harry Redknapp.

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