Everton manager Roberto Martinez delighted to see transfer window close
The season starts now for the Toffees - who are without a win so far this season
Friday 13 September 2013
Everton boss Roberto Martinez has heralded his side's return to action this week as a "fresh start" after finally seeing the transfer window close.
Everton's start to the season was overshadowed by Manchester United's high-profile pursuit of two of their star players in Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines.
Martinez felt the transfer window was an unsettling and unnecessary distraction at the start of the campaign and has been at the forefront of calls for the deadline to be brought forward in future.
Everton eventually lost Fellaini to United but did keep Baines and also managed to bring in Gareth Barry, James McCarthy and Romelu Lukaku on deadline day.
Since then the majority of the squad have been away on international duty and, now reconvened ahead of Chelsea's visit this weekend, Martinez feels the season is finally starting in earnest.
"We feel it is a fresh start for us," said the Spaniard, whose side have drawn their opening three Barclays Premier League games.
"The moment the window closed it felt a completely different environment around the football club.
"There is a real focus, it seems somehow the season starts now.
"Looking at where we are, I think we have done many good things in the previous three games but there is no hiding from the fact we are in need of points.
"Whenever you play a home game you take that as a real opportunity.
"Playing against Chelsea, we know they are a terrific team and they have got a real mature way of playing, with good experience, but we are playing at home and we want to accept that responsibility that we need to get points and get our season started."
Martinez welcomes the challenge of trying to beat one of the title favourites in Chelsea to secure a first win of the season.
The former Wigan manager believes his team should thrive under the pressure of such big games, particularly at Goodison Park.
He said: "Whoever is going to play against Chelsea this season is going to have a real test.
"It will take a lot to beat them. They are unbeaten, they have already visited Old Trafford and been involved in a European competition.
"But we want that pressure. Goodison has been a terrific place to play our football and we want that to continue.
"We want it to be a difficult place for any team to come.
"We want to enjoy our home football and make sure we get a lot of points at home."
Martinez will consider handing debuts to midfielders McCarthy, the £13million signing from his old club Wigan, and Barry, who has joined on a season-long loan from Manchester City.
Striker Lukaku, who is on loan from Chelsea, is not permitted to play against his parent club.
Martinez said: "There is real competition for places.
"We have a good blend of good energy, good youth, good arrogance.
"We have a very good know-how and experience that is going to give us good competition for places and real good options.
"The months ahead are going to be really demanding and we have to have everyone fully fit and ready."
Despite failing to win, Martinez has been pleased with performances in the stalemates against Norwich, West Brom and Cardiff - the last two of which were goalless - and is convinced the victories will soon come.
He said: "The difference between three and nine points is that we haven't been able to convert the chances or the opportunities we have had.
"The game against West Brom we controlled from start to finish. Now it is finding the way to get full points in those sort of performances."
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