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Next game pivotal for Martinez

01 Sep 2013 16:16:54

Next game pivotal for Martinez

Roberto Martinez admits there will be pressure on Everton when they resume their Barclays Premier League campaign after the international break, but he is confident his side are moving in the right direction.

The Toffees picked up a third successive draw in Saturday's goalless stalemate at Cardiff, failing to make the most of creating the clearer goalscoring chances.

They were also denied what appeared to be a clear penalty when Gary Medel brought down Leighton Baines in the box, on a day when the left-back and fellow Manchester United target Marouane Fellaini played 90 minutes for the Merseysiders.

The result means Martinez remains unbeaten, but also winless, in three league games in charge of Everton, and he knows their next league fixture against Chelsea will be crucial for how their start to the season is perceived.

"The draws put more pressure on your next game," he said. "If you win the next game after three draws it is a good start to the season, if you lose it you are missing some points.

"The first two draws were so one-sided that it was more frustrating, but it is good to see the players working hard at the way we want to play and it will just take a little bit of time to have that sharpness in front of goal.

"I am pleased with the platform we have built, now it is a matter of sharpening things up."

One man who has made a big impression early in Martinez's reign has been Ross Barkley.

The Spaniard has put his faith in the 19-year-old midfielder and has been rewarded by a fine start to the season, which also earned the teenager a place in Roy Hodgson's senior England squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.

Martinez admits he has maybe overused Barkley, but praised his influence on the Blues' play.


PA

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