Everton manager Roberto Martinez has spoken out on a range of topics ahead of the Toffees momentous quarter final tomorrow against Chelsea in the FA Cup. Both clubs remain on the periphery of the clubs in the Europa League qualification range, and desperately need the success in the Cup to salvage their respective seasons.
Martinez began by clearing up the picture on who was fit and who was not -
"Bryan Oviedo has reacted really well and we hope that he is going to be back with us Friday. We hope that he is going to have a speedy recovery.
"At the moment it is too early to tell [whether he can play against Chelsea].
"With a chest infection, we had something similar with Tom Cleverley and he missed the Aston Villa and West Ham games. Gareth Barry had something similar and he was able to play a little bit of a part against West Ham.
"Every player is different, depending how serious and how much that infection affects you.
"Aaron Lennon has been progressing well and we are going to make a decision later today whether he can be involved with the squad or not.
"Leighton Baines seems to have reacted really well and the pain has eased off in his ankle."
He went on to deny that his team was mentally fragile, ascribing the loss to West Ham last weekend to the missed penalty in the second half by Romelu Lukaku when the team led 2-0.
"It would not have happened like that if we hadn't missed a penalty. And we had been playing with 10 men for most of the game. If we had won the game we would have had an incredible boost, being a man down for so long it would have been a great achievement but the penalty affected the whole environment.
"It is not normal for a team that has conceded two goals in six games to give away three in 12 minutes. We don't react badly to conceding goals. We have lost a couple of two-goal leads this season but we have learned from that. In normal circumstances we can handle opponents pulling a goal back but against West Ham it was not normal circumstances. It was completely different."
He did admit that the Blues' desperately needed to improve their home form after yet another setback -
"I would say it's a psychological issue. The psychology is a big aspect of any team. Technically and tactically, you can see the stats, they are black and white, and we can see where we are in terms of how we are as a team and the way we play.
"You need to go further than physical, technical and tactical ability to explain why we're so consistent away from home, and so, so extreme in terms of results at home. So there is an aspect of the psychology we have to put right.
"I look at the characters in the squad, and what I have to do as a manager is make sure I give them good direction and we get through that."
Martinez added that the emphasis he's placed on blooding the youth has played its part in the debacle -
"I think it's some sort of work you have to develop within the squad.
"It's about learning from them and making sure you show there's a reaction and that it's a lesson well learned - we need to understand and learn from that pain."
Having come under intense criticism from critics and fans alike in recent times, Martinez insisted that he had the strength to deal with it -
"I've been very fortunate, I've been 10 years as a manager and seven in the Premier League and it is a real source of a strong backbone, to have the experiences we have and every situation you are in, in the Premier League, is a high pressure situation.
"I share the expectations and I am the one bringing the expectations on, it is that we need to understand those expectations because we are Everton, we are club that should be winning silverware and putting ourselves in positions to become a winning team."
A mark of his tenure at Everton has been his belief in youth and undying support for his players, staunchly refusing to criticize them even under extreme pressure -
"But it is true that there has been a big change in the personnel and it is a new generation coming through, we need to be hand-by-hand and work together to learn how to be a winning team.
"I will always defend any player who wants to be brave and give everything they've got for Everton, it is the only way we can become a winning team, when we do it together."