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Crystal Palace (A) Sat 31 Jan 2015, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

The Blues Are Back


Everton’s players reported back to Finch Farm on Thursday morning to start their preparations for the new season.

Leon Osman, Darron Gibson, Steven Pienaar, Tony Hibbert, Bryan Oviedo and Sylvain Distin were all part of the first team group that returned to base for fitness testing under the watchful eye of Roberto Martinez.

Victor Anichebe also linked-up with his teammates and admitted that, after meeting the new manager, he is keen to get to grips with the intense pre-season work.

“Yesterday it felt like it [the break] had flown by but when I was away during the summer I was thinking that we had been away for a long time,” the Nigerian told evertontv.

“It’s good to be back. More of the boys are coming back on Monday and it will be good to see them.

“I spoke to the new manager before and he is a really nice guy. He’s got great ideas and beliefs and he knows the game inside out. It’s exciting; it’s going to be really good.”

Bryan Oviedo

Players who participated in international football after the end of the Premier League season will return at various points over the coming days with the entire squad set to be reunited in advance of the game against Blackburn and the subsequent trip to the USA.

"That's going to happen in stages," Martinez confirmed earlier this week. "The players that have been involved with the national teams - that will be reflected in the time that they will have as a recovery period."
Watch Martinez's first game in charge of the Blues on evertontv. For more information on the different pre-season bundles, click here.

Magaye Gueye Tyias Browning

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