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Friday 29 August 2014

Martinez heaps praise on Lukaku

Published 01/10/2013 | 08:46

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Romelu Lukaku scores Everton's third goal

Everton manager Roberto Martinez hailed Romelu Lukaku as great goalscorer after the striker struck twice in the 3-2 win over Newcastle.

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The Belgium international scored his second and third goals of the season, either side of Ross Barkley's first Goodison goal, as the Toffees routed the visitors in a one-sided first half.

Substitute Yohan Cabaye pulled a goal back within six minutes of the second half kicking off and Loic Remy's 89th-minute goal made it a more tense finish that it should have been for the hosts.

"Lukaku is a young man who has everything as a striker," said Martinez.

"Sometimes you see a number nine who is powerful and has a great physical presence - what Romelu brings is a real awareness around him.

"He is technically really gifted when he has his back to goal and that was a focal point today.

"He is a great goalscorer. He looked like a player who felt at home.

"I want him to enjoy his football, I want him to develop and become as good as he can."

There was surprise when returning Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho allowed Lukaku to go out on loan and that has been highlighted by the fact his league tally is already more than all the strikers at Stamford Bridge put together.

Fortunately for Martinez, the loan agreement is for a full season so there is no chance of an early recall.

"I could be sweating now if that was the case," said the Spaniard.

Asked whether he thought Chelsea had made a mistake letting him join another club, he added: "It will be easy to say that but you need to remember how many strikers they have.

"You need to mention Samuel Eto'o's record, Demba Ba's record and Fernando Torres' pedigree, you are talking about a squad which has phenomenal talent up front."

Martinez was not too disturbed by seeing his side concede twice in the second half, giving the scoreline a lop-sided look considering their excellence before the break.

"I thought we were very good in the first half," he said.

"We defended extremely well and kept Newcastle to very little threat and from that point on some of the attacking play was fascinating to see the link-up play up play with Romelu, Ross and (Kevin) Mirallas.

"Once that happens you can score too many goals. Sometimes you go into half-time with a one-goal lead and that allows you to keep the tension.

"It was normal you are going to get a reaction in the second half.

"It was a completely different performance. We showed style in the first half and grit into the second."

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew admitted snatching a point would have flattered them,

"It would've been fortuitous for us if we'd got something from the game," he said.

"The first half wasn't good enough. The second half was much more like it, we showed a bit of pride and passion, won some headers, won some tackles and made some forward passes - which helped.

"It was important I reminded them (at half-time) of the nuts and bolts of the game - there are fundamentals that need to be done in the team ethic and I didn't think we did those in the first half.

"In the second half we made two changes and it looked like we made 11.

"They are a good side but we stood off them too much in the first half and a couple of goals were more than defendable."

Press Association

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