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Martinez rejects stubbornness claim

Published 06/04/2015

Everton manager Roberto Martinez maintains he is always open to new tactical ideas
Everton manager Roberto Martinez maintains he is always open to new tactical ideas

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has rejected accusations stubbornness prevents him from adapting his tactical approach.

The Spaniard has come in for criticism for persisting with trying to get his side to play out from the back despite results suffering recently.

There were even suggestions the players had gone to him asking to play a more direct style but Martinez has always stuck rigidly to his principles, which was the case when he was at Wigan when they were in relegation battles every season.

But while he may persist in wanting to play the same way he said that does not mean his tactics are rigid.

"The people who say that I am tactically not flexible are people who do not follow my work," Martinez told the Liverpool Echo.

"I have been innovative at every football club I have been at with my tactics, my shape and my approach.

"I am not someone who needs to defend myself but if you follow my work then I am probably one of the most flexible managers tactically that you could work with."

Martinez tinkered with the shape of his side in Saturday's victory over Southampton, their third successive league win, as he switched to a 4-1-4-1 formation with Gareth Barry the solitary holding midfielder with his regular central partner James McCarthy pushed further forward.

He explained he made the change to compensate for the absence of leading scorer Romelu Lukaku, who is still recovering from a hamstring injury.

"It was because we didn't have Romelu," he added.

"In certain games we played with two strikers. On Saturday we had Aaron Lennon really high up the pitch and James McCarthy had freedom.

"Every game is different. Southampton have a very strong back six that needs to be broken in different ways.

"We don't play the same way twice, but it is not for me to go openly and publicly and tell everyone what we have done."

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