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

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Roberto Martinez says he is proud of the belief his Everton players showed at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, despite coming away without any of the three points they had targeted throughout.

The Blues boss was left frustrated with Lee Probert's decision to award Chelsea a 92nd-minute free-kick - a set-piece from which the hosts would net the decisive goal.

Everton, meanwhile, had 53 per cent of the ball away from home in another strong showing against one of the title favourites - but they were unable to find a way past Petr Cech in the day's early kick-off.

And while admitting there is still work to be done to turn that possession into more victories, Martinez highlighted the commitment his side showed against the table-toppers.

He told evertontv: "We have to get even more desire to make sure that from now until the end of the season we understand that we are as good as anybody in this league.

"We need to work on getting the results our performances deserve.

"We've been performing with that belief and know-how throughout the season.

"It was important to try to get that first goal when you come to places like this and you dominate the game as we did in the first half."

There was a late change to the starting line-up after Lacina Traore had to withdraw from the squad minutes before kick-off.

"It was a big blow for us," Martinez added.

"Lacina had been working really well after playing against Swansea and it was just in the final kick of the warm-up that he felt his hamstring and couldn't participate.

"But as you would always expect from our dressing room, the team was ready to react and Steven Naismith stepped in and he performed in a manner that was exactly what the team needed."

Everton welcome West Ham United to Goodison Park on Saturday 1 March. Click here to secure your seat.

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