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


Roberto Martinez refused to be downbeat after watching Everton slip to a first Goodison Park defeat under his stewardship against Sunderland.

Instead, the Spaniard pointed towards the spirited second-half performance shown from his side as they battled against a numerical disadvantage following Tim Howard’s first-half sending-off.

Desperate defending from the visitors and the heroics of Black Cats goalkeeper Vitor Mannone saw the Blues suffer their first home league defeat in 2013.

But Martinez was keen to ‘move on’ from the setback, with Everton again in action against Southampton in just three days’ time.

“We have to remember that Sunderland came well organised,” Martinez said. “They had a solid structure behind the ball.

“But I thought the second half performance was terrific. We put Vitor Mannone’s goal under a lot of pressure. We didn’t get any points but performances like that will get us positive results over the course of the season.

“The players showed an incredible attitude and tactical understanding to cope with the numerical disadvantage. We created numerous chances and had 11 corners, but the only critical aspect is that we need to score goals when we get those sort of situations.

“We have to cope with it, move on and I do feel that we are stronger as a team after that performance.”

Martinez admitted he had no complaints with referee Lee Probert’s decision to dismiss Howard for tripping Ki Sung-Yeung inside the first half – the incident which led to the only goal of the game, scored from the spot by the South Korean international.

He added: “Obviously we made a bad decision that cost us a sending off and a goal. When a pass is on that’s a decision and when you receive the ball that’s another decision. We probably got both of those wrong but we will learn from it.

“My only disappointment is the law itself – you feel like you have been doubly punished because you get a red card and concede a goal. The referee was spot on.”

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