Martinez urges Everton to wise up
Published 12/03/2014 | 12:02
Everton boss Roberto Martinez insists his players are not "too nice" - but has stressed they need to wise up to opponents "trying to take advantage" with certain tactics.
The Spaniard was frustrated by an incident in Saturday's 4-1 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Arsenal which saw the Toffees, with Gunners midfielder Mikel Arteta on the turf claiming he was injured following a tackle from Seamus Coleman, opt to kick the ball out even though referee Mark Clattenburg had allowed play to continue.
Martinez does not want his "fair" team emulating the antics of Arteta, who appeared to be unhurt, but is keen for them to learn from the episode.
"It was a frustrating moment for me," Martinez, quoted by the Liverpool Echo, said.
"It's not that we're too nice, it's that we're a fair team. It's important for us, though, to identity when people are playing with that and trying to take advantage.
"We just need to make sure it doesn't cost us. I don't care about us using it but we need to know how not to get disadvantaged by it.
"I'll never compromise what we represent in terms of winning games. But if you have a player that wants to lay on the pitch and moan to the referee we shouldn't stop the game. Mikel used that to his advantage and we need to be aware of that.
"We should punish that sort of reaction and behaviour with penetrating football and using the players we have on the pitch. It's a lesson to be learned. But it's a learning curve."