Martinez: Palace defeat is a good omen for derby
Roberto Martinez believes last weekend's defeat against Crystal Palace is a good omen for Everton's chances in the Merseyside derby at Anfield tomorrow.
Everton have not won an away fixture against Liverpool for 15 years, drawing eight and losing eight of their 16 games since, including a 4-0 hammering last season.
The Toffees go into the match on the back of a 3-2 loss to Palace - an exact repeat of the victory the Eagles managed at Goodison Park in April.
Martinez said: "The game is going to be really exciting. I think it's going to be one of the best derbies - the last two were very good from a technical point of view and very good football games, but I think this one is building up towards being a very good game.
"The defeat against Crystal Palace, there was something spooky about it. The last time we beat Liverpool at Anfield was September 27 so I hope the spookiness carries on at the weekend."
It is four years since Everton won a derby match home or away and the one-sided nature of the rivalry was one of David Moyes' biggest frustrations during his tenure.
His successor has not yet managed to reverse the tide but Martinez is not about to let that intrude on his relentlessly positive attitude.
"It affects (the game) in a positive way in my eyes because the stats are there to be broken and that's something we need to make sure we embrace and we look forward to," he said.
"We know that it's a difficult place to visit but there are many other difficult places in this league that we've gone to and changed the history. That's an extra bit of motivation."
Both teams have so far failed to find their form of last season, with Liverpool managing six points from their first five games, one more than Everton.
The Toffees also lost their Capital One Cup third-round tie 3-0 to Swansea in midweek while Liverpool survived an epic penalty shoot-out against Middlesbrough.
Martinez said: "This period has been really important for us. In two games we've seen 18 players in the squad and we've got another three players who are very close to full fitness.
"It's very important at this stage of the season to get the moments of form to the players, to make sure we become as strong as we can be. The game at the weekend will test us to the maximum. It's going to be a really good occasion and one of the most exciting games of this campaign.
"It's still only three points but three points are becoming very important for both sides after we dropped points. It's really important to start getting a consistent run of results."
Martinez, meanwhile, shrugged off reports linking Manchester City with a move for England midfielder Ross Barkley.
City were said this week to be lining up a move for the 20-year-old next summer.
Martinez is well used to being asked about potential bids for Barkley and insisted there had been no contact from City in connection with the player.
The Toffees boss said: "It's a rumour and we'll leave it there. We've spoken enough in the past about potential interest and I always mention the same - we take it as a footballing compliment and we'll move on.
"All we want from Ross now is to be able to get him fully fit and get him ready to enjoy his football and help the team. We are looking forward to that day."
Barkley suffered a knee ligament injury in training just before Everton's first game of the season against Leicester and had been expected to be ruled out until November at the earliest.
Martinez revealed his recovery is ahead of schedule but is reluctant to put a date on Barkley's possible return to action.
"He's doing really well," said the Spaniard. "He's starting to run, which is something we didn't expect until next week. Now the next bit will be introducing the ball.
"I do expect that he's going to be a few weeks still but he's well ahead of what we expected and it's all positive."