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Swansea City v Everton: Buoyant Martinez praises squad depth ahead of Liberty return

Roberto Martinez takes an Everton side buoyed by victory over Premier League champions Chelsea to former club Swansea City on Saturday and is convinced he has a squad ready for success.

Steven Naismith came off the bench to score a perfect hat-trick as Everton put Jose Mourinho’s men to the sword at Goodison Park last weekend in a 3-1 triumph.

The task for Everton now is to replicate that fine performance at the Liberty Stadium against a club Martinez captained as a player and managed between 2007 and 2009.

“I do [think we have a squad to compete],” he said. “I feel the characters we have are hungry, desperate for success, desperate to push each other and we have competition for places now that we didn’t have before. 

“The football demands of being at your best or someone else will take your place allows you to be competitive and I think the squad is ready for that.

“The mentality has been right for a long time. Now it’s about getting momentum and good continuity. 

“The performance we had against Chelsea and the one against Southampton away [3-0 win] are performances close to each other and a great sign that we can be consistent.”

Martinez also spoke of his admiration for opposite number Garry Monk, who played with and under the Spaniard at Swansea.

“I don’t see another manager who has had such a big influence over the last three seasons – taking different roles, having to stabilise the team, giving them direction, and avoiding relegation,” he added.

“He then had a full season and achieved their best-ever finish in the Premier League, and is now following that with a really strong start to this season with different personnel – for me, it has been a very, very impressive job he has done.”

Monk’s men, who are one place below Everton in eighth on goal difference, enjoyed a fine start to the campaign and spirits in south Wales were high following a 2-1 victory over Manchester United before the international break.

However, Swansea’s momentum was halted by a disappointing showing in a 1-0 defeat at 10-man Watford last weekend.

“We were disappointed to lose. We did not reach the levels of performance we would want,” he said. “I have spoken to the players and we think it was down to a lack of focus on what we are good at.

“There are no excuses, they have responded well and been excellent this week. They know they need a response.”

On his reunion with Martinez, Monk added: “We were together here. We always have good conversations. We had lots of good games. Roberto is a good guy and it will be nice to see him.”

Monk has a fully fit squad to choose from, while Martinez is hopeful that Muhamed Besic and Seamus Coleman (both hamstring) will be fit after the duo came off injured against Chelsea.

Thu 17 Sep, 2015
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