Roberto Martinez offers injury update, speaks on Steven Pienaar's importance and bouncing back against Arsenal

Pienaar Everton

Roberto Martinez addressed the media ahead of Everton's trip to Arsenal on Saturday evening.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has said he is close to having a full strength squad available with several first team players returning to action and training in some form. 

The Toffees boss provided an injury update at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday evening's trip to take on second-placed Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. 

Martinez said that Steven Pienaar, Tom Cleverley and Bryan Oviedo had all made steps on their road to recovery from injury, while Cleverley could be involved for this weekend's trip to take on the Gunners, but Martinez spoke in detail of the role Pienaar could have on the team when he returns to the starting XI.

He told reporters at his press briefing, as shown on the club's YouTube channel: "As I've mentioned many times Steven Pienaar is a quite different profile in our squad: the way he makes the space, the way he gets on the ball, the way he links up with Leighton [Baines] - that's always a strong part of our attacking play. Then in a way we had to grow quickly as a squad to find solutions.

"We were relying immensely on that link up a few seasons back. It's pleasing to see how we adapted but it will be fantastic if we can get Steven fully fit and ready to stay fit for the rest of the season."

He may not be available this weekend though as the Toffees look to bounce back from a humbling 3-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester United, as Everton were taken apart on their own patch by Louis van Gaal's side. Though Martinez wants a response from his players this weekend, he is aware of the difficulty of doing it against an Arsenal side who are in good form in domestic competitions and have chalked up a huge win in Europe against Bayern Munich. 

"It was a really bad day for us, it was one of those results you couldn't see coming or expect. As a team we want to reach our level and we have to do it at one of the hardest arenas in the league. 

"We know we are going to find a team probably in the best moment of confidence and belief. 

"I wouldn't say that a team as experienced at those European nights as Arsenal are going to suffer a hangover."

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