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Martinez praises Robles after Norwich win - but Howard still likely to be recalled

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Everton boss Roberto Martinez singled out Joel Robles for praise after he made several key saves during Tuesday's Capital One Cup win over Norwich.

The Spaniard made stops from Wes Hoolahan, Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe and - most memorably - Lewis Grabban, who saw his header clawed away by Robles in the final minute of normal time.

Robles then saved Hoolahan's penalty in the shootout, with Everton eventually winning 4-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the League Cup for just the second time in 27 years.

Speaking after the match, Martinez said:

"Joel was, throughout the game, himself. I thought he had the moment of the game - his save from Lewis Grabban was terrific. His composure and demeanour was very good and his penalty save from Wes Hoolahan was very impressive.

"I am very pleased for Joel because he had been working very hard behind the scenes and is starting to show how reliable he is."

Robles' heroics are unlikely to secure him a starting spot against Sunderland on Sunday though, with Martinez later confirming that the much-maligned Tim Howard will return against the Black Cats.

That decision is likely to irk plenty of supporters already questioning the Everton manager's judgement for persisting with a desperately out-of-form Howard, especially after his two mistakes against Arsenal last Saturday.

Away from the goalkeeping situation and Martinez was quick to praise Norwich for a battling performance that perhaps didn't deserve such a painful defeat.

The Toffees boss was also keen to dampen expectations despite the prospect of a cup semi-final - and even final - beginning to loom into view.

"Overall it was well-deserved passage through to the next round with the quality we showed in the penalty shootout.

"I thought it was a fantastic cup tie. Norwich deserve credit. Technically they had a very impressive performance with the movement they had. They got the crowd frustrated in spells but we coped with it well.

"In the second half, when Ross and Gerard came on, we had the best chances. We were more patient and found a way of getting through.

"Looking at the other results elsewhere, it shows you how difficult it is to get into the position that we are now. Our performance deserves a huge amount of credit.

"We will look forward to the draw and seeing who we are going to face. But there is still a long way to go before you can think about getting in a position about winning a trophy."