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Boss reacts to Everton criticism

Martinez defends the Goodison crowd after the media questioned their loyalty on Saturday.

Clive Brunskill

Roberto Martinez has robustly defended the Everton fans and the backing they gave the side against Manchester City at the weekend

Sky's Martin Tyler and Gary Neville were particularly outspoken, accusing the Everton fans of producing a timid atmosphere, reflecting their apparent reluctance to get behind the team and force a win that might directly help Liverpool.

Tyler referred to the atmosphere frequently while Gary Neville went as far to say "I'm bored". Which rather than reflecting reality (I'm sure Sky don't want Neville to criticise their prize product so openly) perhaps shows their determination to push and highlight a certain narrative.

Their opinions did not quite match up with the reality,though, as the Everton fans got behind their team like every other game.

Yes, it was not quite the "bear pit" is has been in the past, but there was little riding on the match for Everton. Why should Everton fans get up for a game that matters little just because it would suit Liverpool?

Roberto Martinez was asked about the supporters after the game and understandably leapt to their defence:

"You should ask Manuel Pellegrini and the Manchester City players if that was an easy atmosphere.

"In the second half especially the crowd were incredible. We felt galvanised by our crowd and I thought that ourperformance didn’t deserve a defeat.

"If people want to make headlines that’s down to them, but I am very proud that as a football club we had to face a difficult game and a difficult position and no-one can question our professionalism or integrity or desire to win a football game in which I felt we deserved a lot more than we got."

Click here to read our view on the atmosphere at the Manchester City game on what was an awkward day all round for the supporters.