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Everton take on Swansea City in the FA Cup this weekend, and midfielder Gareth Barry believes that the Toffees can keep on progressing through the tournament, suggesting that they have a great chance of lifting the trophy with Manchester United and Tottenham already out, and two of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City set to be knocked out too.
"Any cup draw, you're desperate for your team to come out first so you get that home draw, and we were lucky enough to get that," the midfielder said, "Obviously Swansea's going to be a tough game but we're at home and there's no reason why we can't go through.
"It's a massive opportunity to get through to the quarter-finals and there's going to be a few big Premier League teams going out. We've got to have that incentive to go through to the quarter-finals and from there anything can happen. This Club deserves a trophy and the FA Cup is going to be a great chance for us,” added Barry.
One of the recent problems for Everton has been the absence of star loan striker Romelu Lukaku, and with Arouna Kone also on the treatment table, Martinez has been left without a recognised centre forward. Steven Naismith and Kevin Mirallas have filled in up front, but the Toffees are set to be handed a boost by Lacina Traore's improved fitness ahead of this weekend's game.
“He’s getting there. He’s been working really well and benefited from these extra days from an individual’s point of view,” Martinez said. “Lacina has been sharp in training and has surprised everyone in the medical department at how quickly he has got his fitness levels high for the competition. We have to make sure there is no risk for him to participate but, clearly, there is a good opportunity for him to be involved on Sunday in one way or another.”
The former Anzhi Makhachkala man's return would be crucial for Everton, but Martinez is right to be cautious about his return after admitting he rushed midfielder Ross Barkley back from injury too quickly.
"I think Ross is so eager to play and make himself available I did bring him back too early, especially against Aston Villa," said the Everton boss. "When you come back you get through with adrenaline but it is when you need to rest from that first game, he needed more time.
"It was too early for him to start the game (against Villa) but Ross is a young man who can get through anything. You have to be careful because he will never be conscious he is feeling any pain. He is such a joy to work with we have to make sure he is fully recovered and is fully refreshed and ready to have a massive impact from now until the end of the season.” added Martinez, who has overseen Barkley's development into an England international this season.
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