Everton latest: Legend praises Stones, Martinez speaks of Irvine respect

Roberto Martinez pitchside for Everton

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Everton return to Premier League action this weekend after the international break, and it's a meeting of familiar faces as Everton travel to the Hawthorns to take on Alan Irvine's West Bromwich Albion. Irvine, who was appointed Baggies boss in June, worked under Martinez last season as he oversaw the youth setup at Goodison Park, and whilst Martinez will be glad to see Irvine, he wants to get one over on him this weekend.

"It will be nice to see Alan. He's a gentleman and a footballing person that everyone has huge respect for," Martinez said. "He did a terrific job at our club in different roles and we wish him the very best of luck in his new project - but just not for this weekend."

"He has given a lot of effort and good planning with our academy. We had a lot of good work from him and his footballing vision and previously he had a very important job as assistant manager. I'm sure that good feeling is going to be shared for many years to come and will never be affected by whatever happens on Saturday."

One of the young players to come through at Goodison Park in recent months is defender John Stones. The former Barnsley defender broke into the Everton side at the end of last season, and earned his first England start against Norway last week before playing in the European Championship qualifier against Switzerland on Monday. Toffees legend Graham Stuart believes that whilst he may not be a regular for Everton just yet, he will continue to improve in a bid to get back in the Everton side.

"It was fantastic to see John Stones make his competitive debut for England against Switzerland earlier this week," Stuart said. "John will have been a little bit frustrated not to have been in the first 11 for ourselves so far this season, but that will be a major boost for him to have broken through at international level."

"To make his full debut in the Norway game last week, then to get his first competitive game against Switzerland, it was a magnificent achievement for somebody so young and he acquitted himself really well. That will give him confidence and I’m sure he’ll come back to Finch Farm desperate to try to break into Everton’s starting line-up," he added.

Meanwhile, winger Aiden McGeady has had an exceptional start to the new season for both club and country, and continues to earn rave reviews from his team mates. The former Celtic star played very little after joining from Spartak Moscow in January, but now back to full fitness, McGeady is firing on all cylinders - and says he feels a certain responsibility to create for Everton.

"When I am on the pitch I know I have a responsibility to create chances and score goals," said McGeady. "Last season I was coming on and getting five, 10, 15 minutes here and there. This season I have felt more settled and part of the team. The more comfortable you become with your surroundings, the more you will play with freedom."

"The manager and coaching staff have been great in saying that to me. They have given me pointers here and there about expressing myself and that’s what I’ve tried to do when I’ve been on the pitch," the Irish international added.

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