Goodison Park

Next Game

Everton v So'ton

Saturday, 04 April 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Loftus Road Stadium

Last Game

QPR 1 - 2 Everton

Sunday, 22 March 2015, 16:00

Barclays Prem

Martinez eyes strike options

Roberto Martinez is confident in the strength of Everton's attacking options despite losing Arouna Kone to injury.

Last Updated: 08/11/13 at 13:05 Post Comment

Roberto Martinez: Happy with depth of squad

Roberto Martinez: Happy with depth of squad

Everton manager Roberto Martinez is confident in the strength and depth of his attacking options despite losing striker Arouna Kone to a long-term knee injury.

The Ivory Coast international's participation in the remainder of the season has been thrown into doubt by an operation on a cartilage problem.

While on-loan Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku is fit and firing Martinez will not have a problem and despite back-up option Nikica Jelavic having scored just once in the league since December 9, the Toffees boss does not fear problems further down the line.

"It is a big blow (losing Kone). When he came on against Hull (his last appearances) I felt we had Arouna back," he said.

"He then had a nasty challenge and it never settled down. It's going to be a lengthy spell.

"Darron Gibson has been in a similar situation (having had cruciate knee ligament surgery) and those two players are working hand in hand to get back.

"But we have many more options up front.

"Kevin Mirallas played more than a season at Olympiacos up front, Steven Naismith keeps playing at international up front - we have many options in that department."

Martinez denied Jelavic, whose last goal in any capacity for the club was in March in the 2-0 win at home to Manchester City, is suffering from a lack of confidence.

"Niki started the season working hard and scored a few important goals in pre-season and has been working really well," said the manager.

"When he came on on Sunday he looked sharp, lively and full of energy and I have no doubt he will have a massive role and is a very important player for us.

"He is such an experienced player he knows what he needs to do. As a striker you are always going to be in good moments and that happens after scoring goals and you feel you are really effective in the final third.

"He has never suffered a lack of confidence. He is experienced enough to understand we have Romelu in a very good moment of form.

"Niki is not suffering at all, he is fighting and waiting for his opportunity.

"It is good to have that healthy competition. You see how Romelu has been performing and that is because people have been setting the same high standards in training."

Martinez insists the long-term injuries to Kone and Gibson have not altered his thinking as the January transfer approaches.

"We will use the next six, seven, eight weeks to get a clear assessment of the squad and see how the youngsters are developing because it is important to give them an opportunity," he added.

"Every window we are working hard to make sure we are helping the squad.

"It is not a case of bringing in players for the sake of it in every window, it is the opposite.

"It is trying to identify characters and personalities who can fit in and help the squad if there is any need.

"That will always be the case, with injuries or without injuries."

Everton head to bottom-of-the-table managerless Crystal Palace on Saturday looking to ensure they keep pace with the six sides currently above them.

Martinez believes the Londoner's paltry points haul of three from 10 matches is not a true reflection of their quality.

"We will never take any game lightly. Palace have been unfortunate in terms of results, they have been in games more," he said.

"When you get promoted you are either in that honeymoon period when everything goes in your favour and you develop momentum or it is the opposite and things don't go your way and the confidence and belief you had in that successful season which got you promoted is not there.

"They are much better than the points reflect in the table. At any time they could click into place and the last thing we want is for that to happen on Saturday."


New Sky Bet customers: Claim free £5 bet every week


Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Footer 365

Scholes: Bale 'perfect' for United

Paul Scholes says Gareth Bale would be "a natural fit" for Manchester United and believes the winger could have the same impact as Eric Cantona.

Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio suffers anterior cruciate ligament damage

Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering knee ligament damage.

Mark Hughes signs new contract with Stoke City to summer 2018

Stoke manager Mark Hughes has signed a new contract with the club which runs until the summer of 2018.

Mail Box

Where's The Love For Walcott?

Theo Walcott is wanted by neither Arsenal or Liverpool fans in the afternoon Mailbox. Also, some good points on the FA skewed priorities, and glorious geekery...

Ripe Robin Still Has A Role To Play...

There is some support for the aging Robin van Perise in a frankly threadbare Mailbox. Also, more debate over homegrown players, with a suggestion of an import tax...

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