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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Martinez Praises Blues' Improvement

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Roberto Martinez was pleased with the way his Everton side bounced back from a below-par first half performance against Real Madrid.

Everton conceded two goals in the first 30 minutes but rallied after the break and after Nikica Jelavic's goal they ended the stronger side.

Martinez did, however, point to the positives that the game against the Spanish giants yielded.

He told evertontv: "The first half wasn't as good as we can be. I did feel that the way we performed in general was good in many aspects but we were well aware of the counter attacking of this Real Madrid side and we left ourselves exposed to that, which is disappointing.

"But now is the time to do it; pre-season is when you can correct those things and playing against the best you can learn quickly.

"We started from scratch after half time and we won the second half and that is very pleasing. We showed incredible character and there were some monumental performances from some individuals."

The manager also noted that Sylvain Distin's first half header probably shouldn't have been chalked off for an alleged push.

He added: "I thought Sylvain's would have been a goal back in the UK. It was unfortunate because it was a great delivery and a good header."

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