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Martinez ready to bounce back
Everton manager Roberto Martinez insists his side will learn from the pain of their Merseyside derby defeat and bounce back a better side.
The 4-0 midweek loss, extending their win-less streak at Anfield to 14 matches, was demoralising but should be taken in context of the situation the Toffees were faced with.
Captain Phil Jagielka was not fully fit after injuring a hamstring in the FA Cup win at Stevenage three days earlier while Ross Barkley, Steven Pienaar and Antolin Alcaraz all played their first game in several weeks and were obviously lacking match sharpness.
Martinez praised the attitude of those players for ensuring he was not forced to field a patched-up side and believes the result will not be a defining point in their season after falling four points adrift of the Champions League places.
Speaking ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash at home to Aston Villa, he said: "We don't hide the fact we had a real disappointment on Tuesday because we know how important the derby is but in the same manner we are still in that privileged group (Arsenal and Chelsea are the others) in the league of having only three defeats.
"That shows how well we have done in the season and now is a moment when we have to get together as a football club band take this defeat as something which really hurts.
"We need to use it to our advantage. The defeat will make us a stronger team and makes us a team who reacts at the weekend.
"It is an important moment to bounce back and take that performance into our make-up and ensure we are a stronger side after it.
"We are all aware how it happened and the reasons behind it and it is very important to take the emotions away and analyse the game but in football you have the opportunity to bounce back straight away.
"The lack of points in the derby does not represent success or failure in the season.
"We want to go a bit further and we want to see where we end up in May - we have another 15 opportunities to keep getting stronger."
Martinez is still likely to be without Sylvain Distin, Seamus Coleman, Gerard Deulofeu and new loan signing Lacina Traore for this weekend's visit of Villa, while Romelu Lukaku has also been ruled out for several weeks with an ankle injury.
Having watched Villa show resilience to come from 2-0 down to beat West Brom 4-3 on Wednesday the Toffees boss knows his side cannot afford to let their standards slip again.
"We all know Villa bring an incredible bravery in the way they play," he said.
"They have a really good attacking force, they are a team who are always very dangerous on the counter-attack and it is going to be an open game.
"You look at the way they are performing away from home and that suits them."
Paul Lambert will assess striker Gabriel Agbonlahor's fitness after he missed Wednesday's local derby win over West Brom with a foot injury.
Lambert is happy to put up with Fabian Delph's moaning as long as the in-form midfielder keeps driving Aston Villa's engine room.
The Yorkshireman has arguably been Villa's most consistent performer this season, teaming up with Ashley Westwood and Karim El Ahmadi in a three-man midfield.
His form under Lambert is a far cry from his earlier years at Villa, which were blighted by injury, inconsistency and an unhealthy disciplinary record. Now, however, the 24-year-old is being talked about as a potential England international.
Lambert believes Delph's personality off the pitch is as important as his performances on it, with the midfielder filling the 'Victor Meldrew' role in the dressing room with aplomb.
"He moans like anything, Fabian," said the Villa boss. "He'll moan about things that are incredible! You need those sort of players in your side, people that will moan for the sake of moaning. You need them because it shows that he wants to win.
"It's his sense of humour and helps the dressing room. He moans for the sake of moaning.
"That's not a slant in any way, you need those sort of moany characters to snap at people's ankles, really, on the pitch - and he is great at it.
"But his general game at the moment is great, there's a lot of confidence there. You need those type of players in your side.
"The thing that we found with him is he's hardly missed a day's training since we've been here and he's played most of the games since we've been here, so I think he's getting used to training every single day and playing.
"Where I'm fortunate is that he hasn't had that before because of his injuries."
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