Everton 4 QPR 0: Gareth Barry praises manager Roberto Martinez for FA Cup performance from striker Nikica Jelavic

Barry says the Spaniard deserves credit for keeping the Croatian smiling despite stint among substitutes

Midfielder Gareth Barry feels Everton boss Roberto Martinez deserves credit for keeping Nikica Jelavic “smiling” during what has been a generally frustrating season for the Croatia striker.

Following his appointment as Toffees manager over the summer, Martinez selected Jelavic in his first XI for the club's opening five Barclays Premier League games this term, but the frontman's involvement in the competition thereafter has amounted to only four appearances, all as a substitute.

He came into the team on Saturday for his first start since September and scored for the first time since March, netting twice as the Merseysiders defeated Sky Bet Championship promotion-chasers QPR 4-0 at home in the third round of the FA Cup.

And regarding Jelavic's performance, Barry, who is on loan with Everton from Manchester City for the season, said: "I think the manager deserves a lot of credit for that.

"It is important with a squad that you keep the players that haven't been playing hungry, and Niki is a great example.

"He has had to be really patient, waiting for his chance, and it is not easy to come in sometimes. But he has shown a great hunger and scored twice.

"Niki has been unfortunate with the way Romelu (Lukaku, the striker who is on loan at Everton from Chelsea and has nine goals for the Toffees this season) has come in and played, and with the way the team has been getting results.

"But the manager has kept everyone hungry and he has kept Niki smiling.

"At times it can be tough, but it showed (in the QPR game) that he still wanted to go and do a job for Everton."

Jelavic's career with Everton, who are currently fifth in the Premier League, began impressively, with him scoring 11 times for them in the second half of the 2011/12 season after joining in January, and he managed to net eight more Toffees goals last term.

Yet it seems his spell at Goodison Park could be coming to an end, with Martinez - mindful that the 28-year-old hopes to play at this summer's World Cup - having made it clear he thinks it is only fair he listens to offers for Jelavic.

There have been inquiries from other clubs, with QPR reportedly among them.

But Martinez has also said he does not really want to lose Jelavic's services, stressing he will not be sold "on the cheap", and while the player himself has indicated he is keeping an open mind about his future, he has also emphasised he is looking for more of a chance under the Spaniard.

Barry, meanwhile, sees it as a very happy camp overall at Everton, from which he would be surprised to see players depart during the transfer window.

The 32-year-old, who has 53 England caps, said: "We don't know what is going to happen with his (Jelavic's) future, but the fans have showed their appreciation for him, because he has done a great job for Everton - not just this season, but in years gone by.

"I'd be very surprised if we lose any players. For me, this is one of the best clubs to be learning your trade at at the moment - I think all the players will say it.

"They look forward to going to training and working with this manager, and the results have been showing that too."

In Martinez, Everton - without a trophy since the 1995 FA Cup - have a boss who won the competition last season as manager of Wigan.

The Toffees team that took on QPR featured Joel Robles, Antolin Alcaraz and James McCarthy, three players from that Latics triumph at Wembley in May, as well as Barry who won the FA Cup with City in 2011.

Certainly Everton have considerable relevant experience to draw upon as they look to break their own trophy drought in this year's FA Cup, and Barry said: "I think for any club, when you go so long without a trophy, it does weigh on you a bit and that first trophy is always the hardest one to get, as it showed with Man City a few years back.

"The FA Cup is a tricky competition - you need a lot of luck along the way. But if we produce performances like (they did against QPR), and with the squad we have, we have every chance of going all the way.

"We have not spoken about winning it yet to be honest. But there is enough experience there for us to go on a great run and you never know - the FA Cup can bring glory."

Everton face League One side Stevenage away in round four.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
British musician Mark Ronson arrives for the UK premiere of the film 'Mortdecai'
music
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
people
News
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

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us