Belfast Telegraph

Roberto Martinez urges Everton to respond to Man United shellacking at Arsenal

Roberto Martinez has urged Everton to respond to their loss to Manchester United by bouncing back in a fixture that has caused them numerous problems down the years.

A week on from the 3-0 home defeat to United, the Merseysiders travel to Arsenal on Saturday looking to end a winless away streak that has stretched the entire 19 years of manager Arsene Wenger's reign.

And Toffees boss Martinez said on Thursday ahead of the Barclays Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium: "(The United match) was a really bad day for us.

"It was one of those results you could not see coming or expect.

"We want to be back to reaching our level, the level we showed consistently this season - and we will have to do it at one of the hardest arenas in the league and against one of the hardest oppositions."

Arsenal sit second in the Premier League and recorded a 3-0 win over United in their last league home match, which they followed up on Tuesday with an impressive 2-0 Champions League triumph against Bayern Munich.

But Martinez, whose side are ninth in the table, is demanding a return to form from his men, who were unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions prior to the United loss.

"You look at what Arsenal have achieved in the last few weeks and we know we are going to find a team probably in their best moment of confidence and belief," he said.

"I wouldn't say a team as experienced in those European nights as Arsenal will suffer a hangover - i f anything, they will have incredible momentum from that win and they have a big enough squad.

"But we need to look at ourselves and react from what happened in our performance at the weekend, making sure we are as good as we can be.

"Historically, this is not a fixture that we do too well in.

"But that is an added incentive for us - making sure we can change that around."

Everton midfielder Tom Cleverley will be assessed to see if he is ready to make his first-team return in Saturday's game, having had his maiden run-out since sustaining an ankle injury in August when he played 60 minutes of an under-21 match on Tuesday.

With winger Steven Pienaar also nearing a comeback after featuring in Tuesday's contest and full-back Leighton Baines among a group of other players making good progress in their rehabilitation, Martinez says he is "very close" to having a full squad.

Someone who recently returned to the fold after suspension is Kevin Mirallas.

The winger has only made four appearances this term and was an unused substitute against United, but Martinez has backed him to make an impact for the Toffees in 2015-16.

"Kevin has been very unfortunate," Martinez said.

"He had little niggles and a couple of knocks, then the sending-off at Swansea was very harsh.

"But I expect him to have a massive say in our performances ahead."


From Belfast Telegraph