‘Incredible’ Toffees fans urged to be patient during Sunday’s crucial Goodison clash
Roberto Martinez insists Everton must bide their time as they bid to take revenge on Arsenal tomorrow and told fans: “We need your patience.”
The Blues boss reckons the Goodison faithful will play a key part in what is being billed as a potential fourth place decider against Arsene Wenger’s side.
And he knows his players must be prepared to handle the pressure when Arsenal have the ball, then attack with precision when they’re in possession themselves.
Reflecting on what will be a contest of two stylistically similar teams, the Catalan said: “We’re playing against a top team which is very similar in the concepts that we are trying to play.
”So we’ll have to be patient when they have possession.
“We’ll have to be encouraged enough and have a good tempo when we have the ball too.
“As a crowd we must understand it will be very much a level game. We’ve been used to long spells of possession at home but in this game it will be a bit more 50/50 and it’s about how we use the ball when we’ve got it.
“It’s also going to be about how patient and strong we can be without the ball.
“It will be tough but our crowd will be incredible as ever.
“They deserve huge credit. They need to understand what they’ve done so far has been great for us, allowing us to develop.
“That’s been essential. We need to carry that chemistry on and be thankful for their role. It’s been crucial to have their understanding as we changed the way we play.”
In the likely absence of skipper Phil Jagielka, John Stones will continue in the centre of defence against the Londoners, and Martinez has backed the teenager to rise to the challenge.
The 19-year-old impressed against Fulham last Sunday, and Martinez has been delighted by his toughness as well as elegance on the ball.
“John is an intelligent, conscious and disciplined footballer,” he said. “Just right for the modern game.
“He can take information in and understand what’s needed. He’s also disciplined enough to sense danger and take responsibility for that. He’s got those qualities and then on top he’s someone who can need eight stitches in a game and respond how he did in the second half against Newcastle then like he did at Fulham.
“It’s a remarkable sign of the character he is. One of the most exciting centre halves we’ve had in the English game. We should allow him to develop and enjoy his football. If we develop him well he’ll play a huge part in an era for English football.”