Everton travel to West Brom on Monday night unbeaten in their last five matches, including a pair of League Cup fixtures, and while recent form has cultivated plenty of optimism, Martinez thinks points aren’t coming as consistently as they should.
“I think our level of performances, they’ve been probably better than the points returned,” Roberto Martinez said. “I’m sure that you need to play well to get points over the course of the season, so I would rather have the performances than the points at this stage. … I think you can sense the continuity that we’ve had over the last five windows building a really strong squad, and I think the signs are there.”
The consistency in particular of Romelu Lukaku was posed to the manager, with Everton failing to score in three of their last four Premier League games.”Rom, as with any striker, goes through good moments in front of goal and tough moments” explained Martinez “but that doesn’t change the enormous role he has in our team and how important he is for us”.
Another player with an enormous role in Everton’s team is Ross Barkley, who is one or two performances away from the Mirror claiming he’s signing for [Insert team here] for £50m+. With two goals and three assists in his six Premier League appearances this season, you can’t help but feel he will be key in unlocking one of the strongest defences in the top flight so far this season which has kept four clean sheets – only league leaders Manchester City have more.
Everton will be without the suspended Kevin Mirallas and John Stones could have to sit this one out after the defender was forced off with a knee injury during Tuesday’s Capital One Cup win over Reading, while Seamus Coleman (hamstring) also faces a late fitness test.
Leighton Baines, Tom Cleverley, Steven Pienaar and Tony Hibbert all remain sidelined, while Bryan Oviedo is doubtful with a knee injury, and Muhamed Besic continues to be hampered by a hamstring injury.