Martinez praises Eto’o and Lukaku

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Published: Sunday 26th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Roberto Martinez praised strike duo Samuel Eto’o and Romelu Lukaku after they fired Everton to a 3-1 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor.

Eto’o showed his class with very good finishes at both ends of the game, while Romelu Lukaku put Everton back in front in the 29th minute after Burnley had equalised through Danny Ings.

It was Lukaku’s mistake that set up the hosts’ goal, with the striker inexplicably passing the ball to Lukas Jutkiewicz midway inside the Everton half.

Lukaku has not yet had the impact he did while on loan at the club last season and there has been criticism from some fans, but Martinez was delighted with the Belgian’s performance.

The Toffees boss said: “Football is a game of errors and they’re going to happen. Moments where the ball bounces wrongly or you make a wrong decision, and it happened in the goal we gave away.

“You can imagine he was disappointed but that happens. What pleases me more is that from that moment on he would have never stopped until he got us back in the lead.

“He got a knock on his toe and he wasn’t fully fit but he wanted to stay on the pitch as long as he could. The opposition always marks him well but the way he’s growing at such a young age, he’s going to be an exceptional footballer.”

Eto’o, 33, is at a very different stage of his career to 21-year-old Lukaku but has already showed he can be a key addition alongside his fellow summer signing.

The Cameroonian, who was starting only his second Premier League game for the Toffees, almost completed his hat-trick late on but was unlucky as he was denied by a post.

“As a striker, it’s not about how many goals you score, it’s how many chances you need to score,” said Martinez.

“The first chance he showed that the mentality is to be ready. I thought he set standards in that respect, but then as a manager I was more pleased with his overall contribution.

“His link-up play was exceptional, his defensive work was very disciplined and, for someone in that experienced part of his career to be able to play two 90 minutes on Thursday and today, I think it shows you the way he looks after himself and what an incredible professional to have in a young group.

“I was extremely proud of his performance.”

Burnley’s search for a first win since promotion back to the Premier League will go into a 10th game – a trip to Arsenal next weekend.

The Clarets are the only team in the top four divisions of English football without a victory, and manager Sean Dyche felt the Toffees’ quality in front of goal was the difference between the sides.

He said: “It was a very challenging game against a fine side decided more or less once again by high-quality players doing what high-quality players do. That was their clinical edge against ours.

“Our general performance was good I thought, particularly first half. Some of our football was very good, and the will and demand to play but also to create chances was there, but that clinical side of the game is definitely where it’s at for us at the moment.”

The main positive was a first Premier League goal for last season’s top scorer Ings, who became the first Burnley striker to find the net this season.

“It was a very good finish,” said Dyche.

“We know we want to play on the front foot and we did. I thought he should have nicked one at the end but he looked nice and sharp and he’s growing again.

“He had a soft start to his season in the Premier League and then getting the injury. Weirdly I thought that might do him good, and he looks nice and lively.

“All the strikers need goals. They’re all in there, they’re all clambering. We have to keep believing it will come.”

Published: Sunday 26th October 2014 by The News Editor

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