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Martinez reveals turning point in Everton's season

Kiev comeback set platform for Newcastle victory

Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes last Thursday's win against Dynamo Kiev could be the turning point in his team's season after they followed it up with a comfortable 3-0 win against Newcastle.

Goals from James McCarthy, Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley gave Everton their first home league win since mid-December and restored a six point gap between themselves and the bottom three.

The dynamic Everton side from last season showed signs of returning on Sunday, the players showing more urgency and tempo on the ball and getting it forward quicker, allowing the attacking players to run at the Newcastle defence in dangerous areas.

The crowd responded to the invigorated display. Goodison has often been an awkward place to watch football this season, with the nervy crowd voicing their frustration at Everton's ponderous, ineffective tactics.

It reached boiling point during the first half against Kiev and threatened to turn ugly. But since then they have got behind the team and were much more like their old selves on Sunday.

Speaking after Sunday's game, Martinez stated his belief that Thursday's Europa League comeback could be the turning point in Everton's season:

"It was a big game for us and sometimes that can bring extra pressure in that you play the occasion rather than the game,' he said.

"The perfect preparation was Thursday. Probably Thursday was a real turning point in that moment when we managed to take control of the situation.

"The first 20 minutes (against Kiev) was as bad as it can be in terms of suffering because you feel the anxiety and responsibility as a player then all of a sudden we found the way we should perform.

"The mindset today wasn't of a team who had fear of losing at home, some of the play was outstanding but when we had to defend and work hard for each other we did that with total composure.

"From scoring the first goal we managed the game really well and I thought we defended really composed. Tim Howard had a big save in the second half but apart from that I thought we protected him very well."