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Martinez has faith in Kone

Everton manager Roberto Martinez insists his faith in striker Arouna Kone is not misplaced and he is not risking leaving himself short up front.

The 30-year-old has not played since sustaining a knee injury in October which has restricted his Toffees career to five Barclays Premier League substitute appearances, one Capital One Cup start and no goals after joining from Wigan in July last year.

Kone is still several weeks away from full fitness and although he is training with the rest of the first team he has not yet managed to be involved in a full week's schedule.

While Martinez has plenty of players who can operate just off the forward line, Kone is his only real back up to first-choice centre-forward Romelu Lukaku after he made last season's loan spell a permanent move this summer in a £28million deal from Chelsea.

The manager insists he is not desperate to bring in anyone else and is prepared to give Kone a chance to prove his worth - even if he will not be available for selection until the transfer window s closed.

Asked whether that was a gamble which could leave himself short, Martinez said: "That's like saying 'What if you get the two goalkeepers injured?'. Those situations you have to look into when it happens.

"It is important the players we have at the club have an opportunity to show what they can do.

"I don't want to bring in players just for the sake of it just because the position looks light.

"With Arouna it is difficult to say when he is going to be fit but I have an incredible confidence and belief in his ability as a footballer.

"I want to make sure Arouna Kone is in a good position so we can make a good decision from now until January really.

"A lot will be down to how Arouna adapts to being fully fit. It is a big area we are going to keep an eye on but very soon I think we will be very strong in that position."


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