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Martinez: McCarthy withdrawal was just a precaution

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Everton's James McCarthy

Everton's James McCarthy

Everton's James McCarthy

Everton boss Roberto Martinez said his decision to take Ireland midfielder James McCarthy off at half-time in Sunday's Premier League defeat at Newcastle was purely precautionary.

The visitors lost influential midfielder McCarthy, who has been troubled by hamstring problems in the past few months, at half-time in a contest that the Toffees ended up losing 3-2 - their third defeat in a row.

"It was more a precaution," Martinez said. "James came back from injury on Friday and he was able to play 60 minutes, and after half-time he was hitting a very high risk of injury, so he had to come off."

Martinez, meanwhile, admits his side must stop conceding "cheap" goals as they look to arrest their slump in results.

He insisted afterwards that Papiss Cisse should have been sent off for an elbow on Everton's Séamus Coleman in the first half - an incident referee Craig Pawson took no action over, and was shortly followed by the Magpies striker drawing the scores level at 1-1.

Cisse is facing a three-match ban after being charged with violent conduct by the English Football Association over the incident.

However, Martinez also had no doubt his team had made life difficult for themselves with their defending - something for which they have often been criticised this season. And the Spaniard said: "We can't feel sorry for ourselves - we need to make sure that we get better in what we do.

"(For Newcastle's second and third goal) we gave the ball away when we should have been a bit more cute, showing a bit more maturity.

"I know we have got young players in the squad, but it's an opportunity to learn from those moments.

"We can't just keep giving cheap goals away in that respect because it becomes a harder game."

Martinez was disappointed for Arouna Kone when the Ivory Coast frontman ended up on the losing side at St James' Park after scoring his maiden goal as an Everton player.

Kone, whose spell with the Merseysiders since joining them in the summer of 2013 has been blighted by a long-term knee injury suffered in October that year, netted five minutes into what was his first Premier League start for the club.

Martinez said: "He's a completely different striker to the others we have at the club. He holds the ball up, he gives you a real platform, his intensity in the box to get on the end of crosses is very, very good."


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