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Martinez: Everton fans best in world football

Manager's post-match quotes after a disappointing draw at Watford

Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Everton labored to a 1-1 draw at Watford FC, relinquishing the lead barely within a minute of taking it just before half time. James McCarthy showed some great hustle to steal the ball and pot it home in time added on for the first half. However, an unnecessary back pass from John Stones put goalie Joel Robles under pressure, and the hosts equalized from the resulting corner.

The game saw a raucous away support unfurl two banners, one supporting Leighton Baines and the other calling for Roberto Martinez to be fired.

In the post-match press conference, Martinez was asked if the team was affected by the fans' increasing dissent -

"The fans are allowed to express their views, and once the game started the support was magnificent. For me they are the best fans in world football.

"Any time we play, we know we can rely on our support. I don't expect any fan to be happy after three defeats in the league. We are not happy with it, but what is important is that we perform really well.

"We are a football club going into a very important period, and clearly everything we do is to make our fans proud so I have no problem with that."

Both Phil Jagielka and Ross Barkley limped off with injuries -

"(Barkley) had a knock and he couldn't really stretch his legs in the second half. That was a real disappointment as I thought he looked really fresh.

"He created a real problem to the Watford defence, and I don't think they could cope with his movement and his understanding of the space. We are going to assess him tonight and see how serious that knock it. I don't think it is a serious problem, to prevent him from being involved on Wednesday.

"Jagielka is probably a bigger worry. He felt his hamstring and Phil doesn't get injured that often. When he asks to come off it is a worry."

On Everton conceding yet another time added on goal, from a setpiece -

"We were so close to half-time and it's important to go into half-time with a lead where you can refocus and reset.

"It's more the disappointment of the nature of the goal. It's a deadball situation, a header which bounces off the back of a Watford player and ends up in the back of the net.

"That was disappointing but I was delighted with the way we started again in the second half. We weren't affected by it and got in really good situations."

Both sides had chances late to seal the three points -

"I would say that the quality we had today with the front three of Aaron Lennon, Romelu Lukaku and Gerard Deulofeu, plus Kevin Mirallas when he came on, on another day with a little bit more momentum or with things going your way, we should have turned those good positions into clear-cut opportunities.

"Rom hit the crossbar and I thought Heurelho Gomes was outstanding - he played at a very good level."