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Martinez admits Everton fear playing at Goodison Park

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Boss admits his side are struggling to cope at home

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

After yet another dismal home defeat, this time to Swansea City, Roberto Martinez has conceded his side are struggling to cope with playing in front of their home crowd.

There is no doubt that the atmosphere at Goodison Park has been tetchy and nervy in recent months, but that is what three wins in 12 games will do to you. The supporters are rapidly losing faith and confidence in the team.

As a result the relationship between the crowd, Martinez and his players has become strained, with Sunday's defeat to Swansea appearing to be the final straw for many supporters - if the crowd reaction at the final whistle and comments on social media are anything to go by.

A visibly downcast Martinez said after the game that that negativity was seeping into the team's game and it was having a negative impact on performances, though he refused to blame John Stones for his reckless backpass that led to Swansea winning a penalty for the opening goal.

The Spaniard said:

"We were looking forward to coming to Goodison and enjoying our football, but we can't find a way to do that. We have become fearful and expect the worst.

"It is a negative outcome from a fearful attitude. You can see from the two goals - the penalty and the goal that is a deflection after a previous handball that the referee doesn't spot.

"As a team we need to learn. John is a young man with enormous talent and games give him the chance to assess situations, but we have to anticipate things better.

"We can't be giving away a penalty when we are in control. Everything about it reflected the pedestrian start to the game and that fearful way of performing. We need to make sure that, psychologically, we are ready to play at Goodison."

Martinez, perhaps rightly, pointed to an improve second half display and that on another day Everton could have scored two or three goals, adding:

"The reaction we had in the second half shows the quality that we have and how we should have played over 90 minutes. That is something we need to change very quickly.

"We are hurting ourselves with results that do not reflect our effort and level of performance over 90 minutes.

"It is very difficult when you have a side with something to hang on to and 11 men behind the ball.

"They showed great discipline and organisation but we created enough chances. The last one from Seamus is in the right spot and the last kick of the game. That shows in football you need some fortune as well and today we had none of that."