Everton manager Roberto Martinez hailed Steven Naismith for seizing his chance in the first team after his hat-trick downed champions Chelsea.
The Scotland international was an early substitute for the injured Muhamed Besic and fired home a ‘perfect’ hat-trick – scoring with his left foot, right foot and head – to condemn Jose Mourinho’s men to a 3-1 defeat.
Martinez believes such a performance is the perfect example to young players at Goodison Park who are looking to break into the first-team set-up.
“Steven’s performance typified the effort and the character that we have at Everton,” said the Spaniard. “He hasn’t been in the starting 11 and all he did was focus and be ready to take his moment.
“To score a perfect hat-trick against the current champions, I think that shows you a lot and I think he’s the type of example that we want at Everton to the younger players, to show them that you need to be ready and you need to prepare yourself so that when you get your opportunity on the pitch you can take it. It was a real joy to see Steven enjoying that sort of performance.”
Martinez described his side’s performance as “dynamic” as they held off Chelsea in the second half after Nemanja Matic had halved the deficit prior to the break.
“We have a strong squad, but the attitude is everything,” he added. “Sometimes you play against the champions and you can beat them through lucky breaks after weathering the storm, but that wasn’t the case.
“For 90 minutes we restricted them to two shots on target – one a terrific strike from Nemanja Matic from long range for their goal and the other was a header from Radamel Falcao.
“We kept the ball well when we had too, we scored three goals from open play against probably the most defensive set-up that Chelsea had this season. We looked dynamic and strong going forward and the difference was the second-half performance.”