Evertion boss says points are most important thing
Roberto Martinez is adamant he is more concerned about winning games than keeping clean sheets as he prepares for his competitive Goodison bow.
Martinez is keen to impose a new attacking philosophy on Everton having taken over from David Moyes as manager earlier this summer.
The signs of that approach were evident during their 2-2 draw at Norwich City last Saturday with the Goodison outfit leading possession statistics on the opening Premier League weekend.
However, Martinez is still waiting for the first shut-out of his regime after Everton conceded in all seven of their pre-season friendlies.
It has prompted some concerns given the Spaniard’s indifferent defensive record during four years in charge at Wigan Athletic.
But the Everton manager maintains securing points rather than blanks is the priority.
“Ideally you want to keep clean sheets but what we want is to win football games,” he says.
“Look at the amount of chances Norwich had, I don’t think they should’ve got two goals.
“It is not about keeping clean sheets, it is about winning games and on Saturday, playing away from home, we were on the front foot, created more chances than the home team and deserved to win.
“That is what I want to find in every performance.”
Martinez has previously spoken of the need for patience as his methods begin to take hold with his new charges. But the Spaniard is not bothered how long it will take for them to be fully realised provided his players continue in the same vein.
“I am not concerned about how long it is going to take us to be in a certain style,” said Martinez.
“What is important is that we perform well and we are competitive and that we can install a very competitive edge in our performances. That’s all I am concerned about.”
Martinez takes charge of his first competitive home game as Everton manager with the visit of West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
Darron Gibson is likely to once again miss out as he recovers from the knee problem sustained in the friendly win over Real Betis, while the game has come too soon for Tony Hibbert, Magaye Gueye and Antolin Alcaraz.
None of Martinez’s summer signings started at Carrow Road last weekend with £5million striker Arouna Kone restricted to a late cameo appearance.
Gerard Deulofeu, on loan from Barcelona for the season, was among the unused substitutes and the Everton manager believes it will be some time before the 19-year-old forward, regarded as a star of the future by the La Liga outfit, becomes a regular sight for the Goodison faithful.
“Gerard is someone who is going to take a little bit of time to understand the physicality of the Premier League,” said Martinez.
“It is such a different game to the one he is used to so we need to be a bit patient and give him a little bit of time. But the talent he does have will be very helpful to the team.”
Tickets are still available for Saturday’s first home game of the season against West Brom, which kicks off at 3pm.
Supporters can purchase and collect from Goodison, the Everton Two store and TicketQuarter in Liverpool city centre. Fans can also print their tickets from their own home.
Meanwhile, tickets for next Wednesday’s Capital One Cup tie against Stevenage are also on general sale, but with Bank Holiday weekend approaching, the club are advising supporters to buy their tickets early.
The last day for tickets to be posted out will be tomorrow at 3.30pm, at which point the print-at-home facility will be activated.
The Goodison box office will be open before after Saturday’s game, and on Bank Holiday Monday from 10am-3pm, while city centre outlets will also be in operation.