Everton manager Roberto Martinez is confident his squad can handle the absence of Gareth Barry after the midfielder was sent off against Chelsea.
Barry received two yellow cards in the final six minutes at Goodison Park on Saturday to mar Everton’s 2-0 victory over Chelsea, which moved them into the FA Cup semi-finals.
The 35-year-old will miss the next two matches for Martinez’s side against Arsenal and Manchester United as he serves his suspension, but the Spaniard believes he has plenty of options to step in.
“We are quite strong in every department – that’s what’s pleasing,” Martinez told evertontv. “We never look to have excuses for having players not available. We’ll never go down that route.
“Suspensions and injuries are part of the game and they need to be overcome by the enthusiasm [that comes with] the feeling of an opportunity for another member of the squad.
“The squad is ready and players have been working really hard. It’s going to be great to see what a new partnership can bring to the side.
“But, clearly, Gareth Barry has been an incredible influence in the last three seasons, none more so than in this campaign where he has been involved in every Premier League game.
“He is going to be missed but the challenge we face is can we perform in a really positive way, even when Gareth is not on the pitch? We have to rise to that.”
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