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Friday 9 December 2016

Martinez keeps faith with Robles

Joel Robles. Photo: Reuters
Joel Robles. Photo: Reuters

Everton boss Roberto Martinez is ready to put his faith in Joel Robles as his number one goalkeeper.

The Spaniard has had to play second fiddle to Tim Howard since leaving Wigan to reunite with Martinez at Goodison Park two-and-a-half years ago.

But Robles' performances in the cups this season coupled with some shaky displays by Howard have seen a groundswell of support for the 25-year-old to play in the Premier League as well.

He got his chance against Newcastle earlier this month when Howard was sidelined by a knee injury and took it, keeping a clean sheet in that game and the following one against Stoke.

Robles then kept his place last weekend for the 1-0 defeat by West Brom, albeit blotting his copybook with an error for Salomon Rondon's goal, despite Howard returning to the squad.

He was always going to play in today's FA Cup fifth-round tie at Bournemouth but it seems Everton veteran Howard is now in the position of having to win his place back.

Martinez has been a staunch defender of the American all season, trumpeting his experience and value to the side, but, asked if Robles was now in possession of the shirt, the Toffees manager said: "He is.

"It's been a really good, consistent period for him and the back four. I think defensively, you look at the performance against West Brom and it's exactly what we expected. We only conceded one corner, one shot on target, and unfortunately that went in.

"To have three clean sheets before that is something we can build on."

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