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Martinez to stick with Howard

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Manager dismisses talk of dropping 'keeper

Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

Roberto Martinez has brushed off suggestions he should drop goalkeeper Tim Howard and indicated the American will continue in goal against Young Boys on Thursday.

Howard has made an unconvincing return to the first team since recovering from a calf injury, culminating in two errors against Leicester on Sunday that gifted the Foxes both their goals.

With understudy Joel Robles having performed admirably during Howard's injury absence there has been increasing calls for Martinez to recall his fellow Spaniard in place of the ailing Howard.

Martinez, though, is rarely one to be influenced by others and has come out in defence of the 35-year-old, citing the fact he is his long-established number one and in need of game time following his injury lay-off.

As a result Howard is set to start at Goodison Park on Thursday, with Everton taking a 4-1 lead into the Europa League round of 32 second leg.

The boss said:

"Tim has come back from injury and needs to play. He needs to get his match fitness. It's not an issue whatsoever. Tim is a very experienced footballer, and on European nights, you need some experience.

"Joel Robles has shown that he's ready to help the team when he's needed, and that's a really nice competition to have in the squad."