Write Newcastle Utd off at your peril says Everton boss

Everton Manager Roberto Martinez
Everton Manager Roberto Martinez

ROBERTO Martinez has warned his Everton team to write Newcastle United at their peril.

Everton were widely lauded for the business the club did in the summer’s transfer window.

The club signed Arouna Kone, Antolin Alcaraz and James McCarthy from Martinez’s former club Wigan Athletic, brought Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry to Goodison Park on loan and kept Manchester United target Leighton Baines.

Newcastle, by contrast, signed just one player - loanee Loic Remy - and the club’s lack of investment angered many fans.

Everton are strong favourites to win tonight’s meeting between the two sides at Goodison Park.

But Martinez feels Newcastle’s squad, which unquestionably lacks depth in places, is still strong enough to make an impression in the Premier League.

And he says it would be “foolish” to under-estimate United’s potential.

“As I’ve mentioned many, many times the transfer window circus allows people to have perceptions of teams that are wrong,” said Martinez.

“They made their business early with the loan of Remy, and after that they didn’t sign anyone.

“It seemed from the outside that they didn’t do good business, but the reality is the squad has been strong since January. They made a lot of good signings, and that group of players are settled.

“I see a really good balance between experience and organisation, but then a real threat with the likes of Remy, (Papiss Demba) Cisse, (Hatem) Ben Arfa, (Yohan) Cabaye.

“You’re talking about top, top footballers who are in a good moment in their careers and full internationals.

“You take away the Manchester City game, and they’ve been performing at a very, very good level, so it would be foolish for anyone to underestimate the potential of this Newcastle side.”

Everton have lost just once in 25 home league games, a run which stretches back to March last year.

Martinez said: “We rely on our fans, and that’s why when you play at home, you look forward to playing at a full-capacity Goodison.

“As a player you really enjoy playing with that support that we get as a home team.

“If you look at all the results that we had last season at home, they’re quite impressive, and that goes down to the chemistry between the players and the fans, and that’s quite unique.”