Blues boss has asked home fans for extra ounce of support ahead of Crystal Palace game
Roberto Martinez says Goodison Park helps makes Everton FC’s players bigger, faster and stronger.
And ahead of tomorrow night’s game with Crystal Palace, the Blues boss has asked the home fans for that extra ounce of support to help fuel their Champions League dream.
Martinez expects Palace to provide stubborn opposition this evening and believes the patience of the Evertonians will be vital if they are to break down Tony Pulis’ side.
Goodison has been a fortress for the Blues once again this season with Sunderland the only side to leave the Old Lady with maximum points.
The visit of Palace is the first of three remaining home games, with Manchester United and Manchester City still to face Everton on their own patch.
And Martinez is hoping a packed-out Goodison can be as electric as it was when Arsenal came to town earlier this month.
“First and foremost, it is just an internal feeling about Goodison,” said Martinez.
“As a player at Everton you can feel your crowd and that makes you run an extra yard and run that yard quicker, and you don’t get tired.
“But in the same way, that feeling can work against us if we take games for granted and are thinking we just need to turn up and we will win games.
“We need to get the balance right in getting a clear picture, like the atmosphere we created against Arsenal. We are the most fortunate team in the league in terms of home games.
Everton’s Gerard Deulofeu celebrates their goal against Sunderland
“And then you have the opposite side as an away player.
“You feel that chemistry between the home fans and home players, it can be intimidating and you find it hard to express yourself as a footballer.
“So, it is a double-edged sword.
“We need to use our advantage well and have it as part of our make-up.
Martinez is targeting a 20th league win of the campaign tonight when the Blues play host to Palace.
Victory would be a Premier League record for Everton but the manager is not concerned with milestones.
All Martinez is worried about is being able to crack tough-nut Palace who have conceded only 39 goals in the league this season.
“We are well aware of that and the Everton fans are aware of that, for sure,” Martinez added.
“You are not going to get a better defensive set-up in the Barclays Premier League than Crystal Palace.
“We all know the threat they carry on the counter-attack and from dead-ball situations and the strategy work they do.
“This is a team in a good moment of form and three wins on the trot is not easy to achieve, especially when that run includes playing a team fighting for the title.
“We value the visit of Crystal Palace as a difficult game, as the other two will be.”
Martinez added: “They have added a real confident outlook about what they do and a clarity in their roles.
“We have seen that they are really strong. They were unfortunate by losing by small margins against Arsenal and Spurs and they kept a magnificent clean sheet against us. They frustrated us and that is what they do best.
“They have quality like Jason Puncheon, who is in a good moment of form, Yannick Bolasie and strikers like Cameron Jerome and Maroune Chamakh.
“The fans know how patient and pristine we need to be in the game and I know the fans are going to welcome the players in a great fashion.
“We need to rely on their voice, patience and understanding for us to be as strong as we can be.”
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