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Southampton (A) Sat 20 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Martinez Mulls Mccarthy Deputy

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Roberto Martinez is mulling over which player will replace suspended James McCarthy on Saturday.
 
The midfielder is banned for the visit of Fulham after collecting a fifth yellow card against Arsenal.
 
Martinez named Leon Osman and John Heitinga as possible replacements, while the Blues boss is also pondering a change of role for Kevin Mirallas to address the absence.
 
He told evertontv: "The squad is strong in that department. At the moment Leon Osman and Johnny Heitinga have been working very well in those roles and even Kevin Mirallas is capable of playing through the middle, so we have a few options.
 
"You are going to get suspensions and periods where you pick up injuries. We have been tested before as a squad and you need to be ready for it."
 
McCarthy has played a mammoth 26 games this season for Everton, Wigan and the Republic of Ireland so Martinez turned the negative of a suspension into a positive by allowing the 23-year-old some 'regeneration' time.
 
He explained: "For James it's a matter of having a bit of a breather. It's been a fantastic period for him since he signed and he's been welcomed with open arms by the players and the fans. It feels like he's a player who's been at Everton for many, many seasons.
 
"Now it's important that he takes a regeneration week and is ready to help the team again. It's another test for the squad but a welcome test because we need to be able to adapt to these situations."

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