Carlisle V Everton at Brunton Park : LIVE

31 January 2016 12:44
Carlisle V Everton - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Carlisle looking for another miracle as Everton visit Brunton Park

Seventeen years after striking the famous stoppage-time goal that kept Carlisle in the Football League, Jimmy Glass is still revered in Cumbria as living proof that football miracles are possible.

There will be another miracle of sorts on Sunday when, less than four weeks after experiencing floods which lapped at the top of its crossbars, Brunton Park plays host to Premier League Everton in the FA Cup fourth round.

As always Glass, now 42, will be an interested observer, the unique bond between the on-loan goalkeeper and the club whose status he saved still firmly established despite the passage of time and personnel.

For Glass, the tremendous community spirit which followed the floods, with players and staff heading out to help stricken residents and the townspeople reciprocating to help ensure days like this could happen at home, comes as no surprise.

Glass told Press Association Sport: "I only played three matches for Carlisle, but my name is always going to be linked with the club and it has always been such a warm and welcoming city to me.

"The club is still very close to my heart. It has a very social and spirited community around it and it was natural the players would put on their wellies and get out for help. It is important to keep that relationship between town and club going."

Carlisle skipper Danny Grainger will miss the clash due to an ankle injury.

Defender Grainger sustained the problem in Carlisle's replay at Yeovil in the previous round and sat out last week's draw against York, so Macaulay Gillesphey, on loan from Newcastle, is expected to retain his place in the starting line-up.

Midfielder Luke Joyce also misses out as he completes a two-match ban following his dismissal for the second time this season during extra-time at Huish Park for two yellow-card offences.

Bastien Hery is hoping to resume in midfield after starting in the last two games, but Antony Sweeney is pushing for a recall.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has rejected accusations his team is underachieving and will not be distracted by growing criticism of his reign.

Wednesday's Capital One Cup semi-final exit to Manchester City was a turning point for many fans, with many expressing their lack of confidence in the Spaniard.

Despite having arguably one of the best squads of the last 20 years, Everton are 12th in the Premier League having won just six matches all season and only one of their last 10.

Martinez has won just 30 of his last 81 matches in charge since the start of the 2014-15 season, keeping only 21 clean sheets, and the FA Cup - which Martinez famously won with Wigan in 2013 - now represents their only realistic chance of success this season.

Fans argue a team which boasts striker Romelu Lukaku, who has scored 19 goals already this season, former Barcelona prodigy Gerard Deulofeu, and England internationals Ross Barkley and John Stones should be doing much better. However Martinez disagrees.

"You cannot be underachieving when this team is new; this team has been formed over the last two-and-a-half years and we are developing something that is going to be very powerful for the future," he said.

"That process is not going to be overnight or straightforward. You need to go through painful experiences to develop the know-how of a winning team.

"In my eyes we have one of the most competitive squads in the league with four or five players with the best potential in Europe and that has been down to a clear strategy.

"We have achieved this squad not having the blank cheque of B#500million, which other clubs have had to become a competitive team overnight.

"It would be very easy for us to say we can't really compete against the top four and accept where we are and fight every short-term target but we have an overall approach of wanting to get into the top four and we are showing signs we are starting to do that.

"Are we going to do that overnight? One hundred per cent no. You have to learn as a team how you can compete in those matches and we are right in the middle of that process.

"I understand expectations and the history and heritage at Everton and I think we are getting very close to getting back to the glory years that we had but it is not going to be easy or pain-free."

Source: DSG


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