Sep 242014

Roberto Martinez says he is refusing to “get obsessed” with Everton’s defensive worries, despite a record which shows 17 goals shipped in their first seven matches of this season.

The last time Everton FC were so leaky defensively was in the opening months of the 1994/95 campaign, when Mike Walker’s side let in 18 goals in seven games.

But present boss Martinez believes that defensive solidity is in his side’s “DNA” and will quickly return.

“It’s something that we need to address,” he said.

“Clearly the second goal (at Swansea) is a bad decision if you want, but the ball hits the crossbar and instead of bouncing to a defender it bounces to a striker and that’s the difference – luck plays a part.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez shakes hands with Swansea City boss Garry Monk before the Capital One Cup third round match at the Liberty Stadium VIEW GALLERY  

“Sometimes when you are chasing a scoreline these things seem to happen.

“But I’m not obsessed with it. We kept 15 clean sheets last season.

“It is in our DNA, the workrate that we have as a team. We are a team that can defend and keep clean sheets.

“We did that against Wolfsburg – we only conceded in the last 10 seconds of the game – and we got a very good clean sheet against West Brom.

“I want to fine tune certain aspects but I don’t think Swansea gave a performance which granted them a three goal difference.

“I’m not concerned, but you don’t want the feeling you get when you lose football games.”

Martinez added that he had no concerns about the psychological impact conceding so many goals may be having on his goalkeeper, Tim Howard.

The American was feted during the World Cup when his performances even led to a congratulatory phone call from President Barrack Obama.

But even though he was made captain for the night at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday, he had to pick the ball out of his net three times for the second match in succession.

“If he (Howard) had been a young goalkeeper or someone that hasn’t got his experience maybe you can think how he might be affected by those experiences,” added Martinez.

“But he is in the best moment of his career and has got the control and experience (to deal with it).

“Those moments happen but we need to address it as a team. We all win as a team and we all score goals as a team and it’s exactly the same when we lose and let in goals.

“Tuesday was a game which went down to whoever was going to take the chances.

“I thought we started really well and we stopped Swansea from being their normal selves, their normal controlling football that the have.

“And we had two very good opportunities. If we had scored the first goal it would have been very different.

“I thought they were two very good technical sides which made it a very entertaining game, a typical cup tie.

“When you concede a goal you’re not just happy to lose the game by small margins, you want to get into the game, create more chances, have more shots.

“Romelu Lukaku was one v one with Tremmel and if that had gone in it would have been very different – the scoreline reflects that Swansea were very clinical in front of goal.

“That’s the reason we are not still in the competition.”

Martinez went on: “When you lose 3-0 you have to be disappointed with certain individuals, but as a team you don’t expect to be perfect when you make eight changes.

“We are a team that needs to share the demands with the squad. We’ve got 25 players that I’m really proud of and excited about what we have for the future and we need to be able to make changes and still win football matches.

“I don’t think today we played badly at all. I dont think we had a lack of understanding as a team. I would say that after making eight changes our performance was very good but we want to win football matches and clearly we have to improve as a football club.

“We are a club that wants to compete in every competition and we need to be able to do it sharing the demands with the squad.

“From an individual point of view there were many positives, a lot of information and a lot players desperate to help the first team but overall the scoreline is something we couldn’t get and that’s what we want.

“You are going to get difficult periods in a season – when I say difficult I mean playing seven games in three weeks – and you need to be able to share the demands with the squad.”

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 Posted by at 9:32 pm

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