Everton v Hull: Roberto Martinez says Everton cannot afford to relax

The Toffees lost their unbeaten record in the game against Manchester City immediately before the international break

Everton manager Roberto Martinez insists his squad cannot afford to rest on their laurels as the Barclays Premier League season resumes.

Immediately prior to the international break the Toffees lost the top-flight's remaining unbeaten record with defeat at Manchester City.

With so many players away with their national teams Martinez has had little time to work on his preparations to bounce back from that ahead of the visit of Hull.

But he has stressed the one thing they cannot be is complacent against last season's Championship runners-up.

"We are pleased with the start but it is only a start," he said.

"We are in October and we will try to keep on growing, getting better and learning from experiences.

"We feel disappointed we dropped six important points in the opening three fixtures but now looking back what we need to do is carry on developing a way of playing which is going to be consistent and strong throughout he season.

"The squad is ready to do that and that is our next target; to concentrate on Saturday and make sure we carry on with the level of performance we have shown this season.

"In the league from winning to drawing there are more details and that is probably the difference that we have from earlier in the season.

"But we haven't done anything to sit back and relax.

"Now is when we really need to push ourselves and make sure we fulfil our potential, which I feel as a squad of players is huge."

Among European clubs only Bayern Munich had more players on international duty than Everton and, despite the disruption it causes, that is a positive in Martinez's eyes.

"I think it is a nice sign," he added.

"It shows the quality of the squad and if you add in the under-21s I think it shows we not only have experienced players but talent coming through and that is pleasing.

"It is not ideal to try to prepare games in the middle of that because you get an empty room at Finch Farm but it is a sign of the quality we have in the squad."

Having been promoted last season Hull may be seen as one of the sides Everton would be expected to sweep aside, but Martinez insists Steve Bruce's team should not be under-estimated.

"All the games are very important," he said.

"Hull have had a good start and no one speaks of them as a newly-promoted side any more.

"They speak about how strong they are: in addition to the combination of the winning mentality and the tactical flexibility they had last season in the Championship they have brought in outstanding additions to make a strong group.

"I don't see Hull as a team who will come here and try to defend and try to make it hard.

"I think they will be themselves - they have only lost two games and I thought they had a big say in those two performances against Man City and Chelsea away.

"To get the result (a 3-2 win last month) against Newcastle away from home shows this is a team who will come to Goodison and believe they can get three points."

Midfielder Steven Pienaar, who has not played since August 31 because of a hamstring injury, is still not ready to return while summer signing Antolin Alcaraz's long-awaited debut will not come until next month at the earliest.

"Steven has been working with the group really well but I think it is a bit too early to be available but I do expect him to be fully fit for next Saturday," Martinez said.

"We have been pleased with the way he has been developing.

"Antolin every day he looks really strong. Three weeks ago he had a little bit of a setback (from a hernia problem) and now he is back on full recovery and I do feel he will be ready in the next three weeks."

PA

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference