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Everton vs Aston Villa: Pre-Match Quotes

Roberto Martinez believes the next 19 games are the key

Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Yesterday morning the Everton boss sat down with the media for his press conference before the visit of Sunderland

In response to the rumours that the Blues are talking to free agent and former Aston Villa defender, Ron Vlaar – Roberto said;

"He has very good experience in the Premier League. He is unattached, but there has been no discussions and nothing to comment on."

"In the defensive positions we have Tony Hibbert coming back, Leighton Baines has had a good period of work, we have the doubts over Browning and Galloway - they’re the only focus, defenders at the club."

Then the tables were turned and the media asked the Spaniard about the future of a certain centre-half already at the club, after Barcelona was linked with a January move for John Stones this week;

"I am not worried at all. Our best players will not be leaving in January.

"We’re not in a position where we have to make financial decisions and our focus is on being as strong as we can together and keeping the continuity.

"I think from our point of view the window in January will be to see if there’s opportunities to help the squad in place - but we don’t look at this to be a window to buy or sell players. For us it is more of a matter of continuity, up until the international break in March.

"January is right in the middle of the season and we’re not in a position where we have to balance books."

Moving onto the squad and what this season holds for the Toffees, the manager believes the next period up until the next international break will determine the final league position.

"I just feel there are signs that we've shown already as a team that have been very impressive," said Martinez.

"Now is our time to show what we can do with our group of players, and as a team how good we can be - the next 19 games in the league are going to give us that answer.

"In the league, it’s impossible to set a target now. The only target is to win the next game. When you’re into March, that’s when you have the dream or final points target.

"At the moment, I just feel we can compete against anyone in the league on the day. We won’t be inferior to anyone on the day at our best, and our aim is to be our best every time we step on to the pitch."