Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Martinez wary of troubled Everton

Roberto Martinez
Roberto Martinez

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has warned his side little will prevent David Moyes sending out a formidable Everton team on Saturday

Everton's season has so far been overshadowed by off-field problems with their lack of funds highlighted by the recent sales of Mikel Arteta, Ayegbeni Yakubu and Jermaine Beckford. Some fans staged a protest outside Goodison Park last week but that did not affect the players, who produced a spirited performance in a 2-2 draw with Aston Villa.

"If you look at the game against Aston Villa, they did not look like a team that has been affected by what is going on around them," said Martinez. "I think Everton are a real example of how to be competitive on the pitch whatever happens off it."

He added: "Anything that happens at board level, with certain players or fans, can have an affect on the football pitch. Players are human beings and you get affected psychologically by the events that are going on around you.

"But if I could highlight an example of how not to be affected by that on the pitch, it is Everton. We are going to have to be at our best, otherwise you are going to be hurt.

"At Goodison Park Everton really test you, put you against the wall and make you defend well. It is not just their football ability, you need to overcome the mentality they have got."

Wigan made a positive start to the season with two draws and a win in their opening three games. Their run came to an abrupt halt, however, at Manchester City last weekend and Latics, after making seven changes, were then dumped out of the Carling Cup by Championship side Crystal Palace.

Martinez has taken positives from the loss at Palace, most notably that some fringe players saw action while Shaun Maloney, David Jones and Patrick van Aanholt made debuts.

He is more concerned that his team learn the lessons from their 3-0 reverse at the Etihad Stadium, when he felt they may have paid too much respect to the opposition.

He said: "You need to play the team that is ahead of you and you cannot be affected by the perceptions towards that football club, the team or the occasion. When you go into any venue you want to be yourself and play as well as you can, you want to be yourself. If that is good enough to win the game, great. If not, at least it will help you to grow."

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