Everton FC manager well aware of the buzz in beating Manchester City
Roberto Martinez knows all about how prospects can be changed by shock victory over Manchester City.
So the Spaniard has warned his Everton players to be on their guard when the club makes their first trip to Cardiff in more than 33 years.
Martinez, of course, guided Wigan Athletic to a shock FA Cup final triumph over City in May, a result that helped persuade Goodison chairman Bill Kenwright he was the right man to succeed David Moyes.
City were on the wrong end of another surprise scoreline last weekend when they went down 3-2 at Cardiff City, the Bluebirds’ first victory in the top flight since April 1962.
And Martinez believes the promoted side’s campaign could now be founded on that dramatic triumph.
“100%,” he says. “When you get promoted you go into the unknown and the unknown can sometimes affect you.
“It can affect your confidence, it can affect your know how in terms of how you get a result and the longer it takes for you to get that first win the more damaging it can become.
“What Cardiff have done now is make themselves feel ready. They deserve to be in the Premier League and they’ve already beaten one of the favourites so you can imagine that all of the issues that can be really negative against a newly promoted side have gone out of the window.
“That is why it was a really massive result for them.
“Not just in the manner that they got it or who it was against, it is just about getting that first win.
“You can imagine the feeling around Cardiff now is really positive and those feelings affect the performance of the team.”
Two of Cardiff’s three goals came from Frazier Campbell capitalising on poor marking from a set-piece, and Martinez adds: “Dead ball situations are a big, big part of the game in any league in the world. In the Premier League there is probably that extra spice because there are teams that take advantage of it really, really well.
“It's a big part of the game and I think we need to be able to cope with that, even though Cardiff are one of the strongest sides from set pieces.”
Martinez knows all about the passion of the Cardiff support, having spent three years as a player and then his first two in management at bitter South Wales rivals Swansea.
That spell at the Liberty Stadium marks him out for attention from the home supporters when Everton aim for their first Premier League win under the Spaniard this afternoon.
And the 40-year-old is not convinced it will be friendly.
“I had a really good time in south Wales,” says Martinez. “I will get a welcome – I'm just not sure what it will be.”
That Martinez has an unbeaten record against Cardiff, drawing two and winning the other fixture he was involved in between the pair, should at least allow him to travel with confidence.
“I'm not sure it's the wisest thing to talk about records like that before a match,” he adds. “I always found the derby matches to be really special occasions.
“I have great memories from my time down there but, as I say, we will have to be on our guard because after deservedly beating Manchester City last weekend, they will be looking for another good performance.”
Martinez recorded his first competitive victory as Everton manager in midweek with the dramatic 2-1 Capital One Cup triumph over League One side Stevenage at Goodison.
Everton had followed their opening-day 2-2 draw at Norwich City with a frustrating home stalemate against West Bromwich Albion last Saturday.
Gerard Deulofeu, the on-loan Barcelona winger who starred on his debut on Wednesday evening, may have to be content with a place on the bench today with Kevin Mirallas and Steven Pienaar expected to return to the starting line-up.
With Darron Gibson again unlikely be available as he recovers from a knee complaint, Ross Barkley will look to continue an excellent start the season that earned him a first-ever England call-up in midweek.
And team-mate Sylvain Distin is unsurprised Barkley has been given the nod at the tender age of 19.
“It's about how good you are,” says the Frenchman. “Ross is the perfect example. Ross deserves to play.
“He was training with us last season, he has great quality and a bright future if he keeps working hard and doing what he's doing.”
Martinez, though, is cautioning against expecting too much too soon from the youngster, insisting Barkley's immediate international priority should be the Under-21 squad now under the charge of Gareth Southgate.
“I have no concern about Ross being involved with the seniors,” he says. “Mentally, he can cope with anything. He is a very mature young man, probably because of what he had to go through with so many injuries.
“Being called up by the senior side is a really big moment but he will not lose the reality that he needs to keep improving because you do not want to lose your place at club level. If you do that everything else has a domino effect and you lose your England status.
“He is well grounded and knows his role is with the U21s at the moment.
“But it is great to see the England manager trying to look after Ross' talent, because it is quite unique talent in a British footballer.”