Everton News

Martinez: Keeping Naismith on the right thing to do

steven naismithEverton boss Roberto Martinez has explained the thinking behind leaving Steven Naismith on the pitch at the end of the first half while Ross Barkley looked ready to come on.

With five minutes left in the first half, Martinez had Barkley stripped and ready to make his appearance, but Naismith wasn’t ready to come off and battled on until late in the second half.

“Steven Naismith had a really nasty fall and he twisted his neck,” he said. “The doctor was concerned and we were going to do the substitution but the doctor felt he could carry on until half-time and then we could reassess.

“Naisy didn’t want to come off and then also Mo Besic was carrying a little bit of a niggle, James McCarthy was coming back from a long-term injury, it was the first time Bryan Oviedo had started for a while and Gareth Barry was on nine bookings – so I had to make sure I wasn’t using a substitution cheaply.

“As you can imagine, Ross was desperate to come on – but Naisy was also desperate not to come off and it was the right call in the end from a medical point of view.”

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