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Roberto Martinez lauds Everton's defensive partnership

The manager was full of praise for defenders Phil Jagielka and John Stones

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Everton's central defensive duo of Phil Jagielka and John Stones is a "natural partnership" according to manager Roberto Martinez.

The Blues are currently unbeaten in six games, winning five of those, including last weekend's impressive 3-0 defeat on Manchester United at Goodison Park.

That clean sheet was their fourth in that period, a stark contrast from earlier in the season where they were shipping goals left, right and centre. It is no coincidence that an upturn in defensive form has coincided with Stones' return to fitness, and Martinez was full of praise for his partnership with captain Jagielka.

"It's a natural partnership," he told the club's official website.

"It has been really effective for us, looking at the back four we've started a real strong consistency in 2015 and that's a big part of any team."

Youngster Stones has continued to impress at the heart of the Everton defence this season since returning from injury, once again impressing after his breakout season last year.

His performances have garnered praise from all corners, and one of those is manager Martinez, who says he is pleased to see him developing alongside Jagielka at the heart of the Everton defence.

"For John it is a joy to see him developing and growing as a footballer alongside Phil [Jagielka]," he added.

"They compliment each other really well and the most important reason is that they are phenomenal footballers. Overall we've been delighted with that partnership."