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Everton at Middlesbrough: Pre-match Quotes

Toffees manager gives backing to number one but confirms ‘special goalkeeper’ Joel Robles will start

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Roberto Martinez sat down with the assembled media for his routine press conference and the gaffer shed a lot of light on the possible starting eleven for Tuesday evening.


The nature of the Bournemouth game means that instead of going into an important fixture for the club on a high; we go into the quarter-final with a slight hangover from the previous game and that was something Martinez looked to address.

"Saturday was a very important experience that we need to understand. We are still a young team and we will learn from it."


Focusing more on Boro, the Spaniard was very complimentary towards his counterpart;

"Aitor Karanka has done a wonderful job. He's brought a clear philosophy and they were very unfortunate not to get promoted last year."


"I think it's just a matter of time before Middlesbrough get promoted again - that's how strong they are."


Martinez revealed that his trusted midfield partnership are both struggling to be fit for the trip to the Riverside but Leighton Baines could make his long awaited return to the first team.

"We'll have a clear picture of James McCarthy's injury later today (Monday) - and also Gareth Barry, who picked up a shin injury."


"Leighton trained really well yesterday (Sunday). He is medically fit now, it is just making sure we get the right feeling and he feels confident and the match intensity he gets in training helps him," said Martinez.

"His experience could be important tomorrow. We will assess him and see if he can be involved - that doesn't mean he has to play from the start but it would be a good sign to have him involved in the squad."


"Joel Robles was Man of the Match in the previous round. He will start the game tomorrow - that is something which has been planned," added the Toffees boss.


Roberto gave his backing to his number one despite the criticism levelled at the American following the fallout from the South Coast.

"Since Tim came back into the side after the previous round, he has been very consistent, performing with a real influence over the back four.


"The third goal was a real disappointment because it was the last kick of the game but as a team, we should have done a lot better, not relying on the goalkeeper.


"When someone has a free header in the six-yard box, there has to be questions over the marking."


"Gone are the days when you have only one goalkeeper and then you are waiting for him to get injured or suspended," Martinez moved on to say.

"You have to have two very good number ones who both can play different roles: Tim Howard is an incredible source of experience and someone who can give direction to young players.


"Joel has the potential to be a very special goalkeeper and that is why we brought him to the club.


"It has been important for him to be playing in the League Cup. He has shown a good level, especially against Norwich where his mentality more than anything else was tested in a penalty shoot-out. We need a squad which has two very strong goalkeepers and that is the case."


Rather under the radar, especially with Gerard Deulofeu’s blossoming, Romelu Lukaku’s goal-scoring form has been impressive as has his improved all-round game as a centre forward – something his manager hasn’t failed to pick up on.

"Romelu Lukaku has been very consistent this year. He is developing really strong relationships with those around him."


"It's hard to compare anyone at the end of November, but Rom arrived with incredible potential and he has matured since."

"Rom is a special number nine, with his power, hold-up play and technical ability."