Arsenal v Everton: Steven Naismith insists Everton have nothing to fear in FA Cup tie labelled a 'massive game'

 

Forward Steven Naismith believes Everton have no reason to fear Arsenal as they have proved this season they are a match for the big teams.

Roberto Martinez's side head to the Emirates Stadium for an FA Cup quarter-final on Saturday which could have a major bearing on the remainder of their season.

Having dropped nine points off the pace - discounting fourth-placed Manchester City's two matches in hand - in the race for Champions League football the FA Cup represents their best chance of success even if European football remains a possibility.

Having gone to the Emirates in December and earned a creditable 1-1 draw Naismith thinks the trip south can be made with confidence even if their away record in terms of results against their rivals is mixed.

Everton suffered their first league defeat at Manchester City in October and have lost at Anfield and, less deservedly, at Tottenham but did register an historic victory at Manchester United four days before their draw at the Emirates.

"It is a massive game," said Scotland international Naismith.

"You need to beat the big teams if you want to get to finals and win trophies so we are going to work hard.

"It is probably not ideal for the manager that everyone has been away with internationals but it is the same for everyone.

"We need to come back refreshed and ready and put on a performance like we have done not only at Arsenal before but at a lot of the big teams in away games."

 

Arsenal had an unexpected defeat at Stoke last weekend which dealt a blow to their title hopes, but Martinez does not think that will have much bearing on Saturday's encounter.

"There is never a good or bad time to face a top team. We admire Arsenal immensely for the team they are," he said.

"They had a disappointing result at the weekend but that does not change anything.

"They can perform without looking at what happened in the previous game.

"They are as good as anyone when they get on the ball and have free movement.

"But if you want to be winning a competition like the FA Cup you have to find a way of being effective against a team like Arsenal.

"We need to replicate the level of performance we had at the Emirates earlier in the season.

"I thought first half we played really well but when you are dominant you need to reflect that in the scoreline and that is where we need to improve."

Everton should be aided in that respect with the return of striker Romelu Lukaku, who came off the bench after a month out injured to score the winner at home to West Ham last weekend.

The future of the on-loan Chelsea forward has still to be decided with Martinez preferring to focus on finishing this campaign strongly rather than looking too far into the future - especially as they do not yet know whether they will be involved in Europe.

"We are in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and the last thing you want to be talking about is the preparations for next season.

"Facing a domestic competition compared to playing in Europe is a completely different approach but it would be foolish for us to be talking about that opportunity.

"We want to finish as high as we can and whatever happens at the end of the season we will prepare for what comes next."

PA

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas
footballChelsea vs West Ham live kicks off coverage of all 10 of Boxing Day matches
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all