Feb 252014

25 Feb 2014 22:51

Republic of Ireland winger signed for Everton in January after spending two months languishing on sideline at Spartak Moscow

Aiden McGeady

Everton FC are set to reap the benefits of Aiden McGeady’s hard work in building his fitness since January, says Roberto Martinez .

The Republic of Ireland winger signed for the Blues in January after spending two months languishing on the sidelines following a spat with former club Spartak Moscow.

It meant the 27-year-old was playing catch-up in fitness terms for his first few weeks at Goodison, but now Martinez reckons he is ready to help the Blues enjoy a strong final third of the season.

He said: “He has been putting in extra work, working really hard. It’s about him setting certain levels to make sure he’s fully fit soon.

“I think when he is he’ll take us to a different level in terms  of our forward play.

“With Aiden we had to start from scratch in terms of building up the fitness levels that he needed and we can already seen he’s a phenomenal player.

“He has great technical ability and it’s important to get him feeling sharp so he can show that.

 “He’s settled in really well and over the next few weeks I think we’ll see him ready to really help our season.”

The former Celtic wide-man made an energetic cameo from the bench at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, which convinced Martinez he is nearly ready to play a greater part in the side.

“He’s not far off that,” said the Catalan. “He was desperate to help on Saturday and showed he could cope with the tempo of the game as a sub.

“Then when he got the ball he showed a sweet touch and flashes of what he can do.”

McGeady will hope to feature in Saturday’s home clash with West Ham, the first of three Goodison fixtures as the Blues try and regain lost ground on Tottenham and Liverpool.

And Martinez is excited about the prospect of a prolonged spell back on home turf, where his side have lost just once all season.

“It will be really important,” he said. “Whenever we’ve gone away and had a little disappointment in terms of the scoreline we do enjoy coming back to Goodison and getting the feeling of our fans behind us again.

“We’ve got nine points to play for at home and then the excitement of an FA Cup quarter final against Arsenal. It’s a really good month ahead and we’re going to enjoy it.”

More Everton FC news:

Everton sign highly-rated Irish youngster Stephen Kinsella

Andy Burnham urges Greg Dyke to ‘stand up for Everton’ over Arsenal FA Cup tie ticket row

Road to redemption: the Blues who battled back from difficult beginnings

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