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

Martinez: Tigers Have Bite


Hull City bear little resemblance to a team only just coming to terms with life alongside English football’s elite.

That’s the message from Roberto Martinez as he warned his players not to take this Saturday’s game against the Tigers lightly.

After collecting seven points from a possible nine on home soil this season, the Blues are big favourites with the bookmakers to continue the run at fortress Goodison.

But Martinez says Hull must not be viewed simply as a newly-promoted side, given their summer transfer activity and stirring start to their first season back in the Premier League after a three-year absence.

Hull finished as Championship runners-up last season and recruited Tom Huddlestone, Jake Livermore, Maynor Figueroa and Danny Graham in an attempt to avoid an instant return to the second tier.

And a four-match unbeaten run – which included a 3-2 win at Newcastle last month – serves notice of their intent to achieve more than just survival this term.

“We will need to be very good – there’s no two ways about it,” Martinez stressed to evertontv when asked about this weekend’s challenge.

“Hull City are not just a team that were promoted last season and they have gone to the next level with the additions that arrived in the summer. They added a lot to a team that tactically is very flexible and they have been able to play in different a formation which is a real strength of theirs.

“They are playing with a confident outlook and that means that they are tough opposition. They are going to come to Goodison knowing they can get a positive result and we will have to be prepared for that.

“We will go a little bit further than seeing a newly promoted team coming to Goodison.”

Tom Huddlestone

The only time Everton have failed to win at home this season was when an unambitious West Bromwich Albion adopted a defensive-minded approach on their visit in August.

However, Martinez doesn’t envisage the Blues encountering a unit that will park the bus and play for a point this weekend.

“I don’t see Hull City as a team that will come here, try to defend and make it hard,” continued the Spaniard. “I think they are going to come here and enjoy their football.

“They have only lost two games and in those I thought they had a big say against Manchester City and Chelsea. To get the result they did against Newcastle away from home shows they are a team that are going to come to Goodison and believe they can get three points.”

Hull boss Bruce – now in his eighth managerial position – took up the reins at the KC Stadium following Nick Barmby’s dismissal in June 2012 and steered the club into the Premier League less than a year later.

Martinez recognised the job that the former Manchester United defender has done in such a short space of time.

He said: “Obviously Steve had a terrific career as a player that allowed him to work with foreigners and players from different cultures in the dressing room. I think he has brought that into his managerial career.

“He has had many experiences and the success he has had with Hull City last campaign shows how well he has done. Steve has started the season really well and has created something special with real momentum.”

Don’t miss out - seats are still available for Saturday’s 3pm kick-off against Hull. Tickets start from £32 for adults and only £16 for Under-16s.

Buying tickets is easy. Simply visit the Park End or Goodison Road box office or you can also pick up tickets in the city centre from either Everton Two or the Ticket Quarter in Queen Square. Alternatively, call  0871 663 1878 or buy online here.

Hospitality places are also still available - click here to book online.

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