Roberto Martinez insists Everton will not think about avenging their late Premier League collapse against AFC Bournemouth when the two go head-to-head in the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday.
Eddie Howe’s side played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Everton in November, with Junior Stanislas scoring a 98th-minute equaliser after Bournemouth had battled back from 2-0 down in the final few minutes.
Late goals have cost the Merseysiders against Chelsea and Stoke City in the Premier League since then, but their FA Cup form has looked far more comfortable, with wins against Dagenham and Redbridge and Carlisle United coming with little threat of an upset.
And Martinez wants his players to focus fully on securing a spot in the sixth round on Saturday, rather than become distracted by memories of their capitulation on their last visit to the Vitality Stadium.
“We didn’t take advantage of our two-goal lead,” Martinez said. “From that point of view, we all recognise Bournemouth are an attacking side, they’ll always score goals.
“We learned what happened there but the FA Cup is its own tournament. Even though we’re both Premier League sides, I think it will be a completely different scenario and it’s important we adapt to those 90 minutes quickly.”
Martinez has declared John Stones fit in what will prove a boost to his inconsistent defence, though Muhamed Besic (hamstring) is struggling and new signing Oumar Niasse will likely have to wait for his debut a little longer after undergoing minor wrist surgery. Joel Robles, who has only conceded once in his last four appearances, will continue in goal.
Eyebrows were raised when Martin Atkinson was named referee for the game after Martinez slammed his failure to spot that the ball had gone out of play in the build-up to Kevin De Bruyne’s goal in their League Cup semi-final loss to Manchester City, but the Everton boss dismissed any concerns over his appointment and described as “one of the best” in the country.
For Bournemouth, who were put out of the League Cup by Everton’s city rivals Liverpool, Saturday’s game represents a welcome reprieve from their Premier League survival push after three consecutive defeats in the top flight.
Simon Francis has embraced his side’s underdog status so far this term and is eager to spring another surprise by knocking a top-flight club out of the FA Cup for the first time since 1984.
“I think before the season started a lot of people were writing us off, tipping us to be relegated and saying we were too small a club to be in the Premier League and we welcome that,” he told the Bournemouth Echo.
“That’s what we’re all about as a club. We’ve always faced up to people outside who said we weren’t good enough or big enough.”
Everton won the previous FA Cup clash between the teams 5-0, way back in January 1937. They are yet to be beaten by Bournemouth in any competitive match.
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