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Roberto Martinez Uncompromising Over Everton Style


Everton manager Roberto Martinez is prepared to make changes as he seeks a winning formula – but in personnel and not style.

The Toffees have lacked consistency and are 13 points down on the figure they had in the Barclays Premier League at the same stage last season.

They have won just one of their last five in the league and suffered a 3-0 defeat at Southampton last Saturday.

Some critics have called for Martinez to modify his tactics, perhaps to scrap more, but Martinez has no intention of altering his flowing, pass-based approach.

Asked if he might consider a change, Martinez said: "No, never. What we need to do is get better – it is not about style.

"Our style is very clear at Everton. We are a football club that really enjoys playing in a certain manner and we need to master it. That is where the work is.

"The competition for places is huge. When you get a disappointing result you always consider giving any member of the group that is doing good work on a daily basis an opportunity on a match day, and that is healthy.

"But I am not concerned in terms of performances. I don't think we are far away from where we were last season. I would say we are even better in many aspects of our performances.

"There is a strange relationship between performances and results that at the moment we don't seem to get, but that is what we need to focus on.

"We are going into the second half of the season with a huge amount of points to fight for.

"I know for a fact we have got the quality and determination in the group, and the character, to have a really strong second half of the season."

Martinez, who guided Everton to fifth last season, is similarly dismissive of suggestions that his side have been hampered by their involvement in the Europa League.

Martinez has embraced the often-derided competition and seen the Merseysiders cruise through to the last 32.

He said: "It is a real exciting season. Playing in Europe and being involved in other competitions, as well as wanting to be as good as you can in the league, brings an extra dimension.

"I feel that is the only way we can fulfill our potential. I think it was a price we had to pay.

"We can learn from it and look to the second half of the season and how we can bridge that gap and make sure we can get results on a consistent basis."

Martinez believes Everton can get their season back on track as the fixtures come thick and fast during the Christmas programme.

Everton host Stoke on Boxing Day, travel to Newcastle two days later and are then at Hull on New Year's Day.

Martinez said: "Southampton was a really disappointing result, there is no two ways about it.

"But we know why it happened and what we need to change. It is in our hands, which is always a positive sign going into the next game.

"We do it by playing quickly – getting on the pitch again. That is what this festive period brings you – the opportunity to play a lot of games.

"We have got three games in six days, which is an incredible opportunity and an incredible amount of points.

"We can't wait to get onto the football pitch and face a strong Stoke side that I really enjoy watching.

"In the last game against Chelsea they showed that they are a side that is ready to compete against anyone in this league and they are going to be really tough opposition on Friday."

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