| 0.4°C Dublin

Martinez 'blessed' to have Baines and Coleman

Close

Everton's Leighton Baines

Everton's Leighton Baines

Everton's Leighton Baines

Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes he is "blessed" with the quality he can field at full-back and believes Leighton Baines can play a big part for England at the World Cup.

The Toffees' defender was rested for Wednesday's friendly victory over Denmark having already been assured of his place in the squad, barring injury, heading to Brazil in the summer.

It seems highly likely the 29-year-old will go as first-choice left-back with England boss Roy Hodgson having to make a decision over whether to opt for the experience of Ashley Cole, for a long time the automatic pick in that position, or give Southampton youngster Luke Shaw a chance.

In Baines and right-back Séamus Coleman, who is the club's joint second-highest scorer this season with six goals, Martinez has two players ideally suited to his brand of football.

"I think the full-back position is the most demanding in world football – need to be able to defend in a unit, one v one, and full-backs are probably the players who can dislodge defensive set-ups and become vital in your attacking play," said the manager. "We are blessed with the qualities we have.

Peak

"I think he (Baines) is in the peak of his career to help the national team and from our point of view to help our club. I am excited about the ending of the season with Leighton's form and making sure we are as strong as we can be."

Baines' defensive colleague Phil Jagielka will probably not be fit for tomorrow's FA Cup quarter-final at Arsenal but fellow centre-back Antolin Alcaraz is fit after more injury problems.

Martinez maintains keeping on-loan striker Lacina Traore is still a good idea even through the player could be out for another six weeks with a hamstring problem.

"We want to work with Monaco and we have the individual programme," said the Toffees boss.

"We've seen the specialist and everything has been organised for the specific training for the next five weeks."


Privacy