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Everton at Norwich City: Pre-match Quotes

Gaffer reveals skipper is ahead of schedule to his return but McCarthy will have a late fitness test

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Everton manager Roberto Martinez sat down with the media for his routine pre-match press conference ahead of the Blues’ visit to Norwich City with the January transfer window, James McCarthy’s fitness and Phil Jagielka’s comeback all on the agenda.

When the Spaniard was asked about the potential of transfer activity next month he said, "We should have a transfer window. That's when you assemble your squad. But it should not be open when there are games on."

"January is not a window that we are looking to bring players in, unless something happens,"

"Sometimes January is a window of opportunity, and we’ll keep that in mind, but for us it is just a transitional month.

"We want to carry on working in the middle of the season and this season was always going to be about continuity."

But the boss seemed more focused on the current squad and what they can do this season. In terms of his current squad Roberto was pleased with the current form;

"We have been very consistent and we want to reach perfection. I just feel that this team is ready to reach those heights.

"We have had two defeats in 16, only one defeat in 11 away from home, so we are giving very consistent levels.

"But the only focus we have from now until the final third of the season is to treat every 90 minutes as an opportunity to push ourselves and become better as a group."

More focusing on Saturday and the East Anglian opponents the Toffees chief said,

"The Cup tie with Norwich was a very different game to this one. But we know we will be facing a brave team with a lot of energy."

"This is the most competitive league I have seen. Unless you are perfect on the day, you won't get anything from a game."

"The squad we had for Palace is fit and available. James McCarthy will have a late fitness test," Martinez continued, moving onto team news.

"Leighton Baines is getting very close to starting but we need to manage his workload carefully."

"Phil Jagielka is well on track and is ahead of where he should be. We are looking at the period of games after the Stoke fixture."