Roberto Martinez is hoping Everton start to live up to supporter expectations as they look to end their four-game winless run in the Premier League against Crystal Palace.
The Merseyside club had lost three in a row prior to Saturday’s trip to Watford, but despite leaving Vicarage Road with a point, they surrendered the lead in allowing the home side an equaliser just two minutes after James McCarthy’s opener.
Away fans held up banners to show their discontent with Martinez, while others demonstrated their support for Leighton Baines after his manager criticised his claims that there was a lack of cohesion within the dressing-room.
Martinez, however, insists he will not speak negatively about the supporters’ growing unrest and is eager to produce the performance and result they crave when his side visit Selhurst Park on Wednesday.
“I will never have a bad word about fans because of the way they support the team, and they supported me from the first day is outstanding,” he said.
“I think we are expected to go anywhere in this league and produce performances and try to win every single game. I have got no worry about that.”
Palace had been enduring the worst run of form in the top flight until Saturday, when Jason Puncheon’s strike earned them a first win in 2016 against fellow strugglers Norwich City.
Manager Alan Pardew admitted afterwards that he had never been more nervous before a game in his entire career, with the victory enabling putting 10 points between Palace and the relegation zone.
“It wasn’t the prettiest of games. It was two teams down the bottom of the table going toe to toe and we had to dig in, see it out and thankfully Jason’s put one in the top corner – it’s a great goal,” defender Scott Dann said.
“We had to dig in and hang on at the end there, they came at us. We’re delighted. We stuck together. We’ve had a bad run and hopefully that’s us turning the corner.”
Palace hope to have Emmanuel Adebayor fit to face a side who have been remarkably strong on the road given their inconsistencies at home, with Everton losing just two of their last 16 away matches. Marouane Chamakh (groin) and James McArthur (ankle) are still out.
Martinez has ruled captain Phil Jagielka out due to a hamstring problem picked up at Watford, while Ross Barkley is a doubt after picking up a knock.
Key Opta Stats:
– Crystal Palace have lost just one of their last five Premier League games against Everton (W2 D2 L1).
– Only one of the last 10 meetings in all competitions between Palace and the Toffees has ended as a home win (six away wins, three draws).
– Romelu Lukaku has scored in each of his last three Premier League appearances against the Eagles.
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