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Martinez rejects 'cheap talk' on Everton players

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Martinez: 'I think there has been a lot of cheap talk from the outside, a lot of talk about Romelu Lukaku, about Ross Barkley and about our form. We just accept that – all we need to do is focus on winning games and enjoying our football'

Martinez: 'I think there has been a lot of cheap talk from the outside, a lot of talk about Romelu Lukaku, about Ross Barkley and about our form. We just accept that – all we need to do is focus on winning games and enjoying our football'

Martinez: 'I think there has been a lot of cheap talk from the outside, a lot of talk about Romelu Lukaku, about Ross Barkley and about our form. We just accept that – all we need to do is focus on winning games and enjoying our football'

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has hit back at what he feels has been some "cheap talk" about his players' efforts of late.

After pulling off a 4-1 Europa League last-32 first-leg victory over Young Boys in Berne last Thursday, Martinez's side scraped a 2-2 draw against the Premier Leagues bottom side Leicester on Sunday.

Among those criticised over their performances in the Leicester game - which left 12th-placed Everton with a recent run of only two wins in 14 league matches - were 21-year-olds Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley. But speaking ahead of tonight's second leg at Goodison Park, Martinez said: "I think there has been a lot of cheap talk from the outside, a lot of talk about Romelu Lukaku, about Ross Barkley and about our form. We just accept that - all we need to do is focus on winning games and enjoying our football."

Defender John Stones is suspended after being sent off in the first leg, while the on-loan winger Aaron Lennon is cup-tied.

Everton are also set to be without Bryan Oviedo (hamstring), Christian Atsu (illness) and Aiden McGeady (knee), but Leon Osman (foot) and Steven Pienaar (knee) have late fitness tests.

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