Leighton Baines has apologised to manager Roberto Martinez for stating that Everton’s players lack chemistry and are too reliant on individual players.
Martinez is under pressure to improve results at Goodison Park having seen his side lose four out of the last five Premier League matches to sit 12th in the table.
His cause was not helped by Baines’ remarks after last weekend’s defeat to Manchester United, but Martinez has received an apology from the left-back and also insisted that much of what he said was misinterpreted by the media.
“There are two aspects of that,” Martinez said ahead of Saturday’s match at Watford.
“First, it is very disappointing when you see a misinterpretation of certain words that a player says and clearly this has taken out of context in the way that it has come out.
“The other aspect is someone with the experience of Leighton Baines – I have had a chat with him – he knows he has to take responsibility for those words. He has put himself in a position where he has given the wrong words and allowed the wrong interpretation.
“Those words they have given the opportunity to maybe attract a meaning that is not right, not correct and obviously he has apologised and taken responsibility for that, for leaving those words open.
“That is what we expect – a senior figure at Everton to take responsibility and make sure we speak on the pitch and the way to do that is against Watford. He has apologised and is ready to move forward – the place to talk is on the pitch.”
It was put to Martinez that Baines was right to suggest Everton are reliant on individual stars, with Romelu Lukaku having netted 25 goals in all competitions this season – but the former Wigan Athletic boss disagreed.
“I wouldn’t say we are a team who rely on one or two individuals,” he added. “I think the way we are as a team we rely on the technical ability of the whole team in the way we can get high up the pitch, create chances.
“We rely on individuals because the team as a whole is made up of individuals and we have 15 or 16 individuals that have had impressive campaigns, probably the best campaigns in their young careers in some of the cases.
“We have got a very close group, we know each other, we have been through many, many situations over the years. We are developing a really strong mentality I don’t think it is going to be tested by comments on the outside.
“The fans know we have got an outstanding group of top ambassadors at our football club. We are not performing well to get the results at the moment and that is something we want to change very quickly.”
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