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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Roberto Martinez said Everton's 1-0 defeat to Valencia was a difficult but useful exercise.

The Blues suffered a narrow reverse to the Spanish outfit in intensely humid conditions in Miami.

But despite the defeat, Martinez explained that the USA tour as a whole has been hugely useful to him as he moulds his side ahead of the Premier League kick-off in 10 days' time.

He told evertontv: "The weather was extreme, the humidity in Miami made it a difficult exercise.

"The first goal was going to be essential today, it allowed the other team to get the ball and keep it a bit easier and we got a bit frustrated towards the end."

Previous games against Juventus and Real Madrid yielded plenty of positives for Martinez.

He continued: "We played Real Madrid and Juventus and Valencia and it has been an important workout and it has been great for me to get a lot of information on partnerships and individuals in view of the start of the season. From that point of view it has been real success.

"This was the moment to face those sorts of games. We worked hard in Austria to get volume in our legs and we came here to really test ourselves as a team and make sure we understand how we need to go about our football.

"It has been great to see the fans supporting us all the way and meet them."

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