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

Martinez Hails Osman Influence

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Roberto Martinez reserved special praise for Leon Osman after the midfielder netted on his 300th Premier League appearance.

The long-serving Academy graduate was recalled to the starting line-up in place of the suspended James McCarthy, an opportunity he duly took by opening the scoring as the Blues recorded a 4-1 win against Fulham at Goodison Park.

And the 32-year-old's continued importance to the side was highlighted by the Everton boss at the final whistle.

On his 300-game landmark, Martinez told evertontv: "It's an incredible stat for a phenomenal footballer.

"Leon has been essential in everything we have done behind the scenes. His standards in training are terrific and all I want is for him to enjoy his football and bring performances like today.

"It has to be about quality not quantity because it's not about playing every minute. It's about being able to enjoy your footballer when you are on the pitch and I thought Leon was sensational today.

"From scoring the goal and being influential in everything we did, understanding the game and his thinking - it was a clever performance and a fitting day to do it for him."

Two of the Blues' upcoming festive fixtures are at home - against Sunderland on Boxing Day and against Southampton on 29 December. Click here to buy tickets online.

Alternatively, places are available in Goodison's hospitality lounges. Click here to book your optimum matchday experience.

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