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Martinez Has Faith In Squad

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Roberto Martinez believes his squad is more than strong enough to cope with the demands the festive season will bring.

The Blues have the opportunity to collect up to 12 points in as many days, with fixtures against Swansea City, Sunderland, Southampton and Stoke City on the schedule in the next fortnight.

Martinez enters this period knowing that Ross Barkley, Tim Howard and Gareth Barry are just one booking away from incurring a one-game suspension.

But the Spaniard’s trust in his squad means he is unconcerned by the disciplinary tightrope that the trio are walking.

“It’s that time of the season,” the Spaniard told evertontv. “James McCarthy picked up his fifth booking and now he is clear.

“We have Kevin Mirallas on three bookings and the three players mentioned. Having the amount of minutes [by players on the pitch], you are going to get these threats and that is not going to change anything.

“All we are doing is taking it game by game and making sure everybody is fully fit for the games they are involved in and nothing else."

Leon Osman filled in for the suspended McCarthy against Fulham last Saturday and marked his return to the starting line-up with the opening goal in the 4-1 victory.

It demonstrated a point that Martinez continues to stress about every member of his group having a role to play, particularly at this stage of the campaign.  

He added: “This is when you realise it is a squad game and everyone has to be ready. This is when you get the rewards of working hard behind the scenes.

“We have top professionals at the Club and I am really excited about seeing the players who have been working really well in training to help the team and who are desperate to show what they can do.

“It’s been great to see Antolin Alcaraz fully fit, ready and getting some match fitness. There is also John Stones, Nikica Jelavic, Steven Naismith and Tony Hibbert, so it is very important that everyone in the squad is ready because we are going to be as good as our squad is. It’s not just about 11 players.”

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