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Everton v Manchester City: Pre-Match Quotes

Roberto Martinez has a few words on the fans, Joel Robles, and Kevin Mirallas ahead of the Capital One Cup semi-final with Manchester City...

Dave Thompson/Getty Images

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has been speaking ahead of the all-important Capital One Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City.

First of all, the manager was asked about one of his former charges at Wigan, Steve Gohouri, who tragically passed away recently.

"It was a shock. It is really sad and we are thinking of his family and friends."

On to the match, and there was an update on injuries to Phil Jagielka and James McCarthy.

"We have no seetbacks from the game we played against Spurs, so we have the same squad available for Wednesday.

"Tom Cleverley came through well. Phil Jagielka is ready to play, but the weekend is a better time.

"For James (McCarthy), every day is important. It won’t be too far, probably the end of the month.

"Steven Pienaar is working well and should be available for the weekend."

One player who may be hoping for a chance on Wednesday night is Kevin Mirallas, who has also been linked with a move to AS Monaco. The boss did admit that our squad is "too large", but went on to say:

"What we have seen with Kevin is that he’s signed a new contract, had a good pre-season but we have really good attacking options. But the way he has been working in the last few weeks, I expect Kevin to have a major, major influence in the second half of the season."

He also had a say on the players - such as John Stones - who have been linked away.

"We need to be aware of the special side that we have. We shouldn’t worry about losing players because if we do it is for football reasons. The players we have now, for me, are world class."

Martinez also wants the fans to create a great atmosphere on Wednesday, and understands some of the frustrations being expressed recently.

"The fans are showing the great frustration we share, we have to be patient, we can’t just become, overnight, a good team and have the experience and know-how to keep the leads and win games.

"The fans see a fully committed team who give everything. We always fight until the end and some of the attacking football this season has been outstanding. The performances have been very consistent, but we need the help of our fans.

"We have been in commanding positions at some points and lost leads. We need the help of everyone."

He added:

"It has been a really interesting Capital One Cup campaign. "We have enjoyed the support of our fans at places likes Barnsley, Reading and Middlesbrough, where they were phenomenal. Then we had to be strong and resolute against Norwich at Goodison.

"So we have enjoyed the journey but now it is about getting to the final. When you look at the teams that have made it to this stage, we are facing the top seed but all we want is to be as good as we can in front of our fans.

"We have seen some big occasions at Goodison Park. Many people have been mentioning the big atmospheres that we had in the Fiorentina game (2008) and against Bayern Munich (1985), and it is that type of footballing occasion that we are looking forward to."

Hopefully supporters will listen to this and help the side tomorrow. Although the former Wigan chief defended Tim Howard, they may be placated by the news that Joel Robles is set to start the match.

"Joel has been really good in the competition, especially in the last two games. I thought his performances against Norwich and Middlesbrough were very good.

"Joel now has got a great opportunity to carry on showing the good work he has done this season."

Finally, the Catalan had some words to say about Muhamed Besic - who was impressive in his 30 minute cameo on Sunday.

"I think everyone was delighted to see Mo back in his full flow. He’s a contagious character. He breathes the game. It’s great to see him fully fit and ready to enjoy his football.

"I think he’s been a crucial player, he’s still a young man. We expected him to kick of but the injury set him back."