Belfast Telegraph

Martinez wants results

Everton manager Roberto Martinez admits for all the positivity of recent performances, his side have to return to winning ways.

After four successive league defeats, which came at the back-end of a sequence of just one victory in nine games, the Toffees have managed to halt the slide.

Back-to-back 1-1 draws, including against defending champions Manchester City, were followed this week by an FA Cup exit on penalties to West Ham having been reduced to 10 men in the second half.

But results cannot be ignored and Martinez's side have recorded just one win since November 27 and the Spaniard would dearly love to rectify that against West Brom on Monday - especially as, with no cup action, they do not play again until January 31.

"It is important to get a win because that confidence you get with good results you can't get anywhere else," he said.

"The character shown in coming back against Manchester City was terrific and the work-rate we have shown in the last two performances, especially being down to 10 men, shows the personality and character we have in the group.

"Now it is about getting the confidence at a better level to get that win which would give us a real kick for the second half of the season.

"The signs from the group, they are very good. Looking at the players who are going to come back soon it will be well timed.

"We have nine games left at home and our agenda is to be perfect in every game at Goodison.

"We were perfect against Manchester City and we expect to carry that on against West Brom.

"It is a game we really want to perform well in and start the period we have in front of us in a good way."

Winger Aiden McGeady is suspended following his red card at West Ham.

Defender Tony Hibbert is the closest to a return of those currently injured while Sylvain Distin (groin) also has a chance of making the squad.

Saido Berahino is set to feature for West Brom after he was banned from driving for 12 months.

The striker was due to appear at Runcorn Magistrates Court on Monday, the day of the game, before it was moved forward to Friday.

Jonas Olsson remains sidelined, but the defender could be back in two weeks after returning to light training following an Achilles problem, and Jason Davidson is with Australia for the Asian Cup.

The Baggies are a point behind Everton but manager Tony Pulis expects them to pull away from any trouble.

"I don't see Everton being in it, they have had a poor run of results but they will pick up, there's too much quality in the group," he said.

"Before the season started I looked at their squad and thought it was the strongest squad I have seen for years.

"Roberto (Martinez) has added to it because of the Europa League, I expect them to go on a run of games and not be anywhere near it."

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