Roberto Martinez hailed the impact of Everton’s emerging talent after a rejigged team broke a seven-game winless run with a 2-1 home victory against AFC Bournemouth.
Leighton Baines’ second-half strike proved decisive for Martinez’s men after Marc Pugh cancelled out Tom Cleverley’s early opener within two minutes.
Matthew Pennington was handed his Premier League debut, Oumar Niasse started his first Everton match and 18-year-old Kieran Dowell made his first appearance for the club, with Martinez praising the contribution of the trio.
“To be able to get a full team together, with a full debut from Matty Pennington, I thought he was very, very impressive, a solid performance,” Martinez said.
“He enjoys the art of defending and it is difficult to find young players of that calibre.
“Then to be able to have someone like Oumar Niasse to make his full debut since he arrived in January, his dream was to make that full debut for Everton and we had to wait a long time.
“I think it was very important for him to get an hour and get that relationship with the fans, that relationship with the players, and Kieran Dowell is an exceptional young talent making his Premier League debut.”
The victory was only Everton’s fifth at home in the league all season and under-fire Martinez was happy to get another three points on the board at Goodison Park amid a backdrop of protests against his leadership from sections of the home support.
“It’s always important to get that winning feeling back and that’s what exactly what we did,” Martinez said.
“I thought we started the game well, with Tom Cleverley taking a very good finish, and then we felt very hard done by with the Bournemouth goal being allowed to stand.
“Matty Pennington is impeded and obviously is a little bit off-balance when he is pushed aside and it was just in front of the linesman.
“We got the winning goal and at times I think we had to dig deep, we had to show a real strong resilience.”
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