Wednesday 21 August 2019

Roberto Martinez backs Bournemouth to stand by their style

Roberto Martinez expects his Everton team to be
Roberto Martinez expects his Everton team to be "heavily tested" at Bournemouth

Everton boss Roberto Martinez is not surprised Bournemouth want to stick to the playing style that launched them into the Barclays Premier League.

And Martinez has emphasised the threat they could pose for his team this weekend.

The Cherries go into Saturday's contest at the Vitality Stadium having taken only two points from their last seven games and lying second-bottom of the table.

However their manager Eddie Howe has stressed they will not be abandoning the attacking, expansive game that took them all the way to promotion from the Championship.

Martinez, associated himself with a flowing brand of football, said: "I don't think I'm revealing a secret when I say Bournemouth were not one of the favourite teams to get promoted from the Championship - so when you see that enormous success, why would you change it?

"I think their success over the years has been that clarity and understanding of how they want to play, and it has been a really successful story - there is no need to change anything."

Bournemouth have been hit by some serious injuries, not least the knee problem sustained by striker Callum Wilson that looks to have ended his season.

Martinez has no doubt that has been a key factor in recent results, but he still sees Howe's men as dangerous, full of belief and likely to "click" again at any moment - something Everton need to be on guard for.

"I think Bournemouth carry a winning mentality from what they achieved in the last two or three seasons," Martinez said.

"To lose some of your most influential players is always gong to have an effect.

"But they are very clear in the way they want to play, based on what they do on the ball - they want to break teams down and bring on attacking play and score goals.

"At the moment they are in a run of negative results, but I think the way they perform is not like a team that has not got belief or confidence in what they are trying to do.

"They are a team that can click at any time and get a positive result, and we need to be very wary that it doesn't happen at the weekend.

"I know we are going to be heavily tested and need to be at our best."

Everton are in good shape, with last Saturday's 4-0 thrashing of Aston Villa making it seven points accrued and 11 goals scored in their last three fixtures.

They finished 11th - down from fifth a year earlier - last term having also had to contend with a Europa League campaign, and appear to be thriving on not having such an additional commitment this time around.

But Martinez said: "It would be very easy to say it (not being in Europe) is a positive.

"But, no - we want to be in Europe. That is what we are fighting towards. I thought the experiences of last season were very beneficial."

PA Media

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