Everton boss Roberto Martinez comments on Gareth Barry suspension

Everton Logo at Goodison Park

The Toffees boss gushes over his veteran midfielder.

Manager Roberto Martinez has admitted that Everton will miss the "incredible influence" of Gareth Barry during his two-match suspension, as quoted by Four Four Two.

The 35-year-old midfielder was sent off in Saturday's 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over Chelsea to put something of a downer on the victory - especially with both yellow cards coming in the final six minutes at Goodison Park.

The former Manchester City man has looked superb for the Toffees at times this season, but Martinez is forced to go without him for battles at home to Arsenal and away at Manchester United in the coming weeks.

The Spaniard, however, can see a silver lining, insisting that Barry's absence opens the door for somebody else to impress in the veteran's stead.

"The squad is ready and players have been working really hard. It's going to be great to see what a new partnership can bring to the side," Martinez is quoted as saying by Four Four Two.

"But, clearly, Gareth Barry has been an incredible influence in the last three seasons, none more so than in this campaign where he has been involved in every Premier League game.

"He is going to be missed but the challenge we face is can we perform in a really positive way, even when Gareth is not on the pitch? We have to rise to that."

Fortunately for Everton, they have very little to play for as far as the Premier League is concerned, meaning Barry's absence might not be as detrimental as it might have been otherwise.

Martinez's boys sit 12th in the table, 13 points clear of relegation but 11 behind fifth-placed West Ham in the guaranteed Europa League spot.

He will be back in time for their FA Cup semi-final next month.

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