Tuesday 27 September 2016

Roberto Martinez looks to home comforts as Everton try to find consistency

Published 04/03/2016 | 17:56

Everton manager Roberto Martinez is looking forward to a run of matches at Goodison Park
Everton manager Roberto Martinez is looking forward to a run of matches at Goodison Park

Everton boss Roberto Martinez is relishing the run of three straight home games his side have ahead - and the challenge they face of trying to replicate some of their away form at Goodison Park.

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Everton have won five of their last six matches in all competitions, with four of those victories coming on the road.

And that is in keeping with their entire season, their 2015-16 Barclays Premier League record so far showing only one defeat and five wins from 13 away games.

The home statistics are far less impressive, with a 1-0 reverse against West Brom last time they played on their own turf taking Everton to six losses from 14 league matches at Goodison Park - only four of which have been wins.

The next three fixtures see Martinez's men host West Ham on Saturday and then Arsenal in the league, either side of an FA Cup quarter-final visit from Chelsea.

And the Spaniard said: "It's a period we have been looking forward to.

"We want to make Goodison a comfortable place (for Everton) and please our fans.

"We want to show we can win games at home consistently, bringing the good form we have produced away from home in front of our supporters.

"You don't get a better challenge than doing that against teams like West Ham, Chelsea and Arsenal. It is a really exciting period - and one where we need to be really strong.

"Clearly we haven't had enough wins at home.

"Some of the football has been very good, but we have also been a little bit naive at times and left ourselves exposed. Sometimes we have been unfortunate, and sometimes we have had decisions that have cost us.

"I think it's time to make sure Goodison becomes a really tough place for any opposition team to come to.

"The margins are very small and I think we are getting very close to bringing that consistency we have away from home to Goodison. That is the challenge we are looking to embrace."

Everton are currently 11th in the table, eight points behind West Ham, who are sixth and only a point worse off than fourth-placed Manchester City.

Martinez has no doubt ex-Toffees defender Slaven Bilic has done a fine job since returning to the Hammers - the other English club the Croatian used to play for - to take over as boss last summer.

"It has been remarkable, the way West Ham have been playing," Martinez said.

"This team creates opportunities and shares goals. They play with intensity and defend as a group, and have a very well-balanced side.

"They have had very significant away results against the top teams.

"And they are one point from fourth place and Champions League football with 10 games to go. I think that speaks for itself."

Press Association

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