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Everton at Manchester City: Roberto Martinez Pre-Match Quotes

Tim Howard returns and Romelu Lukaku is fit but Seamus Coleman is out

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Everton manager Roberto Martinez sat down with the assembled media for his press conference ahead of the Toffees' trip to Eastlands. The Spaniard previewed this evening's match up, provided team news and an injury update and managed to fit in some transfer talk as well.

The Blues did have a good record away at Manchester City but the hosts' meteoric rise to the top has started to have an effect on that once good record.

"Stats show the Etihad is one of the toughest grounds to visit but we feel confident playing away from home. I can see a tight match." said Martinez

"We will have to show resilience and defend well tomorrow but also have that strong mentality of getting on the ball."

"We have three important league games coming up now - nine points to fight for - before our attention turns back to the cups."

Ahead of this evening's fixture, Roberto shed some light on team news, "Romelu trained really well yesterday and is 100 per cent." He continued, "he is very much clear to play tomorrow. He wants to play and wants to be have the responsibility of leading the line.

"Funes Mori had 10 stitches but I would expect him to be available. He trained yesterday and doesn’t want to miss any action."

"Tom Cleverley is 50/50 but Seamus Coleman will be out for another 10 to 14 days."

The last two matches Joel Robles has deputised for established number one and the much criticised Tim Howard, and has impressed against City and Dagenham and Redbridge. However, Martinez has already confirmed that the American will return between the sticks at the Etihad.

"We want competition for places and I think Joel Robles has been terrific. He has had a huge role to play in big games and has done really well, but in the same manner Tim Howard brings a quite unique experience and know-how.

"Of course you get good moments and bad moment for any player but we appreciate what Tim Howard brings on top of what he offers in between the sticks.

"He is going to be the first Everton player to have 350 Premier League appearances which is an incredible return" continued the Blues gaffer.

"We need to use that experience and know-how with the young players around him and we are going to continue to use that experience.

"We want good players in every position and clearly we feel very strong in the goalkeeping positions."

Andriy Yarmolenko's agent was in attendance for the FA Cup third round tie last Saturday and speculation about a potential transfer to the Toffees is rife. When asked about the Ukrainian's agent, Martinez said; "I don’t know the identity of every person who comes to Goodison. We even had a cat there who knows a lot about our play!
"I'm sure there were many other people watching the game which would give us links with other footballers around the world. There’s nothing to comment on."

"We have been working really really hard to get some business done early." He added, "I think Shani Tarashaj was our target number one in terms of getting it done quickly. I think Matty Foulds was a different age group."

Finally in terms of outgoings, the Everton boss said, "Aiden McGeady has had three enquiries and we will work with his representative to make the final decision."

"It will be a short term deal so Aiden can finish the season strong then have possible involvement with the Republic of Ireland.

"He has one opportunity to go abroad and two domestically. But we are in the early stages yet.

"It’s not a view to a permanent deal. It would be a loan and he would return to compete in pre-season with a view to next season."

"We are trying to get Stevie Naismith fully fit for the squad and until that changes we will just try and prepare from game to game and get him fit for those matches.

"At the moment there is nothing to comment on. I think Steven just wants to concentrate on the games in the next few weeks."

It is also understood that similar to Aiden McGeady; Darron Gibson will be allowed to leave on loan as well during this transfer window.