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Everton at Bournemouth: Pre-match Quotes

Roberto Martinez sat down with the media to help preview Everton’s first league meeting against Bournemouth

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The Toffees manager had his pre-match press conference yesterday ahead of their trip to the South Coast.

Martinez sympathised with the Cherries’ injury crisis and believes that is the reason for their recent poor form.

"Bournemouth have a clear understanding of what they want to do. There are reasons why they haven't replicated their early form."

"When you have two or three players out long-term it has an impact. Nevertheless, it will be a test for us."

The Spaniard was then asked about his own team’s recent form and the reason behind it,

"We have 18 weeks where we can concentrate on domestic football. We want to see how far we can take ourselves and Villa was a good start

"We have players coming back and you want situations where you have to make decisions about who to pick.

"Every player wants to play and be part of a winning team. Our good form comes from competition for places."

In terms of team news, Martinez can welcome back Muhamed Besic, Tom Cleverley and Leighton Baines which can only add to the competition for places in the squad and that is something the gaffer pointed out.

"It is important to have Cleverley and Besic back, pushing for places. They add to the competition."

With Baines, Martinez went into much more detail;

"Physically, from a medical point of view, Leighton is ready.

"It is just making sure that we give him the right introduction to get that match fitness - and more than anything, it is about having the confidence back in terms of being able to go into a 50-50 challenge without feeling fearful.

"We need to be very careful we give him the confidence and prepare his body to be really strong.

"So we'll take it day-by-day and make a decision tomorrow in terms of being involved on Saturday.

"It is just about giving Leighton exactly what he needs.

"It is no good to rush him back, then lose him for the rest of the campaign. It is important we give him the right adaptation period."

Gerard Deulofeu’s recent exceptional form has attracted rumours that FC Barcelona might look to pursue their buy-back option in the not too distant future. The winger has tried to ease Toffees fans’ anxiety and Martinez seems to know why.

"We all know the incredible world class talent Gerard Deulofeu has. He looks free and happy, and has a connection with the fans."

This week Everton completed a deal to bring Bury teenager Matty Foulds to Goodison in January. Martinez spoke positively about the future Everton centre half and a past Everton centre half;

"Matty Foulds has all the attributes to be a very good ball-playing centre half. We feel very excited about him joining in January."

"Sylvain [Distin] has a lot of memories of Everton and the game will be a good chance to see him. He had a terrific career here."