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Roberto Martinez is on mission to halt Everton slide

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Toughen up: Roberto Martinez wants to tighten his defence

Toughen up: Roberto Martinez wants to tighten his defence

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Toughen up: Roberto Martinez wants to tighten his defence

Everton boss Roberto Martinez admits his side must stop conceding "cheap" goals as they look to arrest their slump in results.

The Toffees' 3-2 loss at Newcastle on Sunday was their fifth in seven Barclays Premier League games and their third defeat in a row.

Martinez insisted afterwards that Papiss Cisse should have been sent off for an elbow on Everton's Seamus Coleman in the first half - an incident referee Craig Pawson took no action over, and was shortly followed by the Magpies striker drawing the scores level at 1-1.

However, Martinez also had no doubt his team had made life difficult for themselves with their defending - something for which they have often been criticised this season.

And the Spaniard said: "We can't feel sorry for ourselves - we need to make sure that we get better in what we do. (For Newcastle's second and third goal) we gave the ball away when we should have been a bit more cute, showing a bit more maturity.

"I know we have got young players, but it's an opportunity to learn from those moments.

"We can't just keep giving cheap goals away in that respect because it becomes a harder game."

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Martinez was disappointed for Arouna Kone when the Ivory Coast frontman ended up on the losing side at St James' Park after scoring his maiden goal as an Everton player.

Kone, whose spell with the Merseysiders since joining them in the summer of 2013 has been blighted by a long-term knee injury suffered in October that year, netted five minutes into what was his first Premier League start for the club.

Martinez said: "You can see what he brings - he's a completely different striker to the others we have at the club.

"He holds the ball up, he gives you a real platform, his intensity in the box to get on the end of crosses is very good and to get a goal so early coming back after a long absence is very pleasing.

"It's a reward that he deserves. It's just a shame that he couldn't celebrate a good victory with it."

Martinez's team lie in 12th after the Newcastle defeat and next face Hull away on New Year's Day.


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