Return to Goodison a welcome boost for Martinez as Everton enter crucial month of March
[quote]Whenever we’ve gone away and had a little disappointment in terms of the scoreline we do enjoy coming back to Goodison and getting the feeling of our fans behind us again.[/quote]
After three painful away defeats at Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea, Roberto Martinez is looking to build on a formidable home record to keep Everton’s fading Champions League aspirations alive.
With a game in hand over their rivals and having faced the top six away from Goodison, Martinez is fully aware of how the next four games will be crucial in shaping his first season in the Everton hot seat.
With a run of fixtures that on paper at least, give the Toffees a realistic opportunity to close the 11 point gap to fourth placed neighbours Liverpool, the Spaniard is looking for his team to take advantage of playing in front of the Goodison Park supporters.
“It will be really important,” he said.
“Whenever we’ve gone away and had a little disappointment in terms of the scoreline we do enjoy coming back to Goodison and getting the feeling of our fans behind us again.
“We’ve got nine points to play for at home and then the excitement of an FA Cup quarter final against Arsenal.
It’s a really good month ahead and we’re going to enjoy it.”
Martinez is also buoyed by the return to fitness of top scorer Romelu Lukaku, claiming the Chelsea loanee will come back ‘even stronger’ after an enforced absence.
“Romelu has been working really well and been looking fresh and ready. It has been such a demanding season for him,” said Martinez.
“You need to refresh a little bit and get back even stronger and that is where we will see the benefit.
He watches every single game and has been keeping an eye on what we have been doing.”
With his team having failed to capitalize despite dominating games for long periods, Martinez will be hoping the return of the big Belgian will bring Everton a much needed cutting edge in the final third.
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Everton’s next five:
Premier League: Everton v West Ham
FA Cup 6th Rnd: Arsenal v Everton
Premier League: Everton v Cardiff
Premier League: Everton v Swansea
Premier League: Fulham v Everton