Sunday 27 May 2018

Roberto Martinez furious as Everton play on 'pre-season mode'

Everton 2-2 Watford

Etienne Capoue of Watford powers past Everton's in-demand defender John Stones
Etienne Capoue of Watford powers past Everton's in-demand defender John Stones
Miguel Layun of Watford scores the opening goal past Tim Howard
Miguel Layun of Watford is ecstatic after scoring his team's first goal in the Premier League
Miguel Layun (L) of Watford celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mates
Everton's Seamus Coleman looking frustrated with the lack of movement in front of him
Ross Barkley wheels away in celebration after equalising for Everton

Phil Medlicott

Roberto Martinez accused his team of having been in "pre-season mode" in the first half at Goodison Park.

The promoted visitors took a surprise lead in the 14th minute through Miguel Layun, and the Toffees struggled to muster a response before the interval.

They improved in the second half and broke the Hornets' resilience to equalise through a sweet Ross Barkley strike in the 76th minute.

Watford then regained their advantage thanks to substitute Odion Ighalo in the 83rd minute, but Everton levelled again three minutes later thanks to another player called off the bench, Arouna Kone.

Reflecting afterwards on his side's display, Martinez said: "I thought we saw two very different performances from us. In the first half, we were clearly not at the level, speed, tempo and intensity that Watford had.

"Without knowing much about how these players gelled together, what we knew was that we were facing a newly-promoted side - that means you bring enthusiasm, bravery and an incredible intensity.

"But you saw in the first half a team that was in pre-season mode. If we are like that, we cannot compete in this league. After they scored, we had an incredible mountain to climb.

"The second half was completely different. I think the attitude changed completely.

"We got in that competitive mode. I think the game changed a lot with the introduction of Arouna Kone. With a couple of tactical switches, everything became a lot clearer for us.

"We became a little bit freer with what we did in front of goal, and you cannot underestimate coming back from behind twice in the game - that pleases me."

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