Everton V West Ham at Goodison Park: LIVE

By 05 March 2016 09:15
Everton V West Ham - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Roberto Martinez looks to home comforts as Everton try to find consistency

Everton boss Roberto Martinez is relishing the run of three straight home games his side have ahead - and the challenge they face of trying to replicate some of their away form at Goodison Park.

Everton have won five of their last six matches in all competitions, with four of those victories coming on the road.

And that is in keeping with their entire season, their 2015-16 Barclays Premier League record so far showing only one defeat and five wins from 13 away games.

The home statistics are far less impressive, with a 1-0 reverse against West Brom last time they played on their own turf taking Everton to six losses from 14 league matches at Goodison Park - only four of which have been wins.

The next three fixtures see Martinez's men host West Ham on Saturday and then Arsenal in the league, either side of an FA Cup quarter-final visit from Chelsea.

And the Spaniard said: "It's a period we have been looking forward to.

"We want to make Goodison a comfortable place (for Everton) and please our fans.

"We want to show we can win games at home consistently, bringing the good form we have produced away from home in front of our supporters.

"You don't get a better challenge than doing that against teams like West Ham, Chelsea and Arsenal. It is a really exciting period - and one where we need to be really strong.

"Clearly we haven't had enough wins at home.

"Some of the football has been very good, but we have also been a little bit naive at times and left ourselves exposed. Sometimes we have been unfortunate, and sometimes we have had decisions that have cost us.

"I think it's time to make sure Goodison becomes a really tough place for any opposition team to come to.

"The margins are very small and I think we are getting very close to bringing that consistency we have away from home to Goodison. That is the challenge we are looking to embrace."

Everton are currently 11th in the table, eight points behind West Ham, who are sixth and only a point worse off than fourth-placed Manchester City.

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic insists a top-four finish is now a realistic ambition.

A 1-0 victory over Tottenham on Wednesday has left the sixth-placed Hammers just one point adrift of the Champions League spots with Saturday's visit to Everton the first of their remaining 10 matches this season.

Bilic admits the club's position in the table justifies talk of claiming a coveted berth in the top four, but is also cautious over setting his sights too high.

"It is realistic now. We are one point behind with 10 games to go so we have a chance," Bilic said.

"But it's so tight and there are still a lot of games to go. Of course we are looking above us because we are very close to those places.

"We are also looking below us because there are teams who are queuing up. The gap is not big between us and ninth or 10th in the table."

The precious victory over London rivals Tottenham, whose title hopes were dented in the process, did not come without cost as defender James Collins is set to miss the next three games with a hamstring injury.

"Losing James is a big blow for us. He's been marvellous all season. He's a great player and a great presence," Bilic said.

"On Thursday it didn't look that bad but unless something very positive happens, he'll miss three games. He's being scanned, but it looks like he'll be back after the next international break."

Michail Antonio's seventh-minute header sealed a memorable win at Upton Park and Bilic's only regret is that there is not more time to savour the moment.

"Beating Tottenham was great, but the bad thing was that we couldn't enjoy it, not even for a few days because we have another game so quickly," Bilic said.

"Sometimes after those wins you'd prefer to have an international break so that you can enjoy it for a week at least.

"We play Everton so we have to put it to bed, but that result has given everyone at the club confidence.

"Everton are amazing on paper and are one of the best teams in the league with so much quality. For me it's a surprise they have won only four home games this season."

Source: PAR

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