Roberto Martinez praises Stones ahead of Chelsea clash, doesn't comment on reports, injury update

Roberto Martinez Press Conference Considered

Everton manager Roberto Martinez addressed the media ahead of this weekend's Premier League clash with Chelsea.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has said Chelsea's pursuit of John Stones hasn't changed anything ahead of this weekend's clash between the two sides at Goodison Park on Saturday lunchtime.

The Toffees' boss didn't comment on reports suggesting the defender is after a new contract with a release clause in it.

Speaking to reporters at his press conference ahead of the game, Martinez said he remained focused on the games that lie ahead, but has been impressed with the performances of his defender.

"I thought that once the transfer window would be over we'd be able to concentrate on the games. Any story from the transfer window or backlash I'm not going to entertain," the Liverpool Echo quotes Martinez s saying.

"John has gone from strength to strength in a period of high pressure and has performed with incredible maturity."

Martinez suggested that Aaron Lennon could be involved this weekend, saying he is fully fit but refused to be drawn on whether the winger would start the game after he completed a permanent move from Tottenham prior to the transfer deadline. 

In terms of injury news for the weekend, Martinez has said that players who have been away on international duty have returned in good shape while Bryan Oviedo will be assessed ahead of the weekend as he's a doubt with a knee problem but Brendan Galloway is 'fully fit'.

Tom Cleverley suffered an ankle ligament injury prior to the break during the draw at Tottenham, and Martinez said he could be out for 'six to eight weeks' but did say he would hope to have him back in the side sooner, and Darron Gibson has returned to training.

This weekend sees Everton face the Premier League champions who have not got off to the best of starts having only taken four points from their opening four games, but Martinez is expecting a strong side to head to Goodison and a difficult encounter.

"You assess their four games and there have been small margins. That happens. I expect a very strong Chelsea team with the right mentality and approach, with a team that's hitting the heights of the team which won the league comfortably."

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