Roberto Martinez comments on Mirallas importance, strike partnership, offers injury update

Everton manager Roberto Martinez addressed the media ahead of this weekend's trip to West Ham United in the Premier League.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has stressed the importance of Kevin Mirallas to his side despite the Belgian not getting the desired game time so far this season.

The Everton boss denied any notion that the winger was dissatisfied with the amount of game time he is currently getting. 

Martinez told reporters at his press conference, as shown on the club's YouTube channel: "Kevin has been a very, very important player while I've been at the football club. This start of the season has been challenging for him individually because he had a couple of niggles, a couple of injuries, then he had the sending off so he wasn't available for three games so the way he has been working in training has been very impressive.

"It's important for us that Kevin is maybe fresher now going into the second half of this season and we'll get the benefit from that. Kevin Mirallas is a very important player for Everton and he knows that, and he wants to get important playing time because the start of the season has been quite frustrating for him."

Everton going into this weekend on the back of a 6-2 hammering of Sunderland, which saw both of their strikers in Romelu Lukaku and Arouna Kone finding the net and showing signs of an understanding that's getting stronger, with the latter of the duo getting his first hat-trick for the club in the process. 

"Everything started with the connection they have at a human level. They are very good friends off the field, you can understand there is a good respect for each other, they understood each other for the different pressures that there were on both players and then you can see that understanding on the pitch.

"I think Arouna and Rom have got an understanding that can make it very unpredictable.

"They are two very different strikers but they complement each other very well." 

There was an also an update on the fitness of several players from Martinez who said the trio of Tom Cleverley, Mohamed Besic and Leighton Baines are all training with the first team, but Baines is unlikely to be fit for this weekend's trip to the Boleyn Ground.

Bryan Oviedo is likely to be sidelined for two to three weeks because of a hamstring injury, while Tony Hibbert could come back into contention after the international break following a knee injury. 

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