Roberto Martinez hopes to see Everton’s dramatic win at Newcastle United lead to an upturn in fortunes, beginning with a Premier League clash against in-form Stoke City on Monday.
Everton looked set for a stalemate at St James’ Park on Saturday before Tom Cleverley’s looping header snatched all three points with the final action of the game.
Martinez was delighted with his players’ attitude at Newcastle and is keen for a repeat when Mark Hughes brings his team to Goodison Park.
“I was really pleased with the manner in which we played. You couldn’t highlight a point at which we looked lost. It was a complete performance,” Martinez told BBC Sport.
“We pride ourselves on the level of our performance but we need to follow a performance with a win.
“This could be a real kickstart for our season. We have two games in three days, but you saw the togetherness of the team.”
Stoke’s win over Manchester United on Saturday caught the headlines largely due to the mounting pressure on Louis van Gaal’s position at Old Trafford, but Hughes’ side are enjoying one of their finest recent runs in the Premier League.
With four wins from their last seven in the top flight and clean sheets in all of those victories – against Chelsea, Southampton and both Manchester clubs – the former United striker says the mood within the camp is certainly bright heading into Monday’s game.
“It was another tremendous performance from us, and at key times a very professional one I would suggest,” he said after the 2-0 win over United.
“I thought that we managed the game really well and maybe should have scored another goal on the counter-attack.
“That said, I would certainly have taken 2-0 before the game. We will all go home in very good spirits and looking forward to the game against Everton on Monday.”
James McCarthy (groin) could be fit to return for Everton, but Phil Jagielka (knee), Bryan Oviedo and Steven Pienaar (hamstring) are expected to be sidelined.
Muhamed Besic made his comeback from a hamstring problem against Newcastle and could well be handed a starting spot.
For Stoke, Glenn Whelan is a doubt after being withdrawn at half-time of Saturday’s win with a calf problem, while Geoff Cameron (hamstring) is a minor doubt.
Marc Muniesa, Peter Crouch and Stephen Ireland (all hamstring) are expected to miss out, along with goalkeeper Shay Given (knee).
Key Opta Stats:
– Everton have conceded only nine goals in their last 20 home league games against Stoke City and never more than once in a single match during this run.
– Stoke won both of their Premier League meetings with Everton in 2014-15 without conceding a single goal (2-0 at home, 1-0 away).
– The Toffees have won seven of their last 10 top-flight home games against Stoke (W7 D1 L2).
– Romelu Lukaku has scored six goals in his last six Premier League appearances at Goodison Park after a run of just one goal in his previous 14 PL outings there.
– Stoke have lost just one of their last six Premier League away games (W3 D2 L1).
– The Potters have kept a clean sheet in five of their last six Premier League games away from home – this is more than they had kept in their previous 33 PL away games (4).