herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Martinez: Defensive woes will be sorted

Roberto Martinez insists Everton's defensive troubles are temporary because their class is permanent.

The Toffees have had no trouble finding the net so far this season but have already conceded 13 goals in five English Premier League games, more than any other team.

That has been the principle reason they have managed just one win so far, making Saturday's Merseyside derby at Anfield even more important than normal.

Last season Everton had the third best defensive record in the division, which helped them to achieve a fifth-placed finish and their highest Premier League points tally.

Martinez's said of his side's leaky defence: "That's been an area that we've been quite poor and it's something we need to improve.

"Sometimes you get situations where when you are so good as a team at something that you could take it for granted and then you get a little bit of misfortune in one or two actions early in the season and the ball ends up in the back of the net, and all of a sudden it seems the confidence is not the same and you don't defend with the same intensity.

"You look at the experience we have in the team, we haven't made any major changes in those positions.

"Now what we want to do is make sure we have more focus, better concentration, better communication and just face that challenge of getting back the standards that we have as a team defensively.

"It's not something that we're aiming for, it's something that we have, and it's a big difference. But clearly conceding the amount of goals we've conceded is not something we want to accept.

"We'll always approach games to win games but it's important we don't become a team that concedes games cheaply."

Merseyside derbies were an exception to Everton's defensive solidity during the last campaign, with the teams drawing 3-3 at Goodison Park and Liverpool winning 4-0 at Anfield.

The matches have generally been frenetic, gung-ho affairs and, with both teams badly needing points to kickstart their seasons, it is likely to be no different this time.

Martinez will make late decisions on the fitness of influential duo Seamus Coleman (pictured) and Steven Pienaar.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News