Next Match:

Crystal Palace (A) Sat 31 Jan 2015, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

'We Have Many Leaders'


Roberto Martinez says he is grateful to have 'many captains' to call upon.

In the absence of skipper Phil Jagielka, teenager John Stones has filled in at centre-back.

But the armband and its associated duties have been handed to vice-captain Leon Osman and Leighton Baines.

"I think we've been very fortunate in that respect," Martinez told evertontv. "The dressing room shares real good leaders and it's not just the one who wears the armband.

"Phil Jagielka is the Club captain and is an incredible influence but we've got many leaders who have been through many situations with our football club. They know what it means to play for and to represent Everton.

"When you mention Tim Howard, Leighton Baines, Leon Osman, Tony Hibbert and the work of Sylvain Distin - these are proper leaders. They don't need to wear an armband to have a real influence in what we do every day."

Martinez knows the duties that come with captaincy all too well, leading Swansea to promotion to League One in 2005.

And the Spaniard believes his side's mix of experience and youth allows for captains-in-the-making to emerge.

He added: "It's an extra responsibility, that's for sure.

"But the real strength we have is that the leaders really lead the group, but then the younger players are allowed to have a big role.

"They're allowed to express themselves and that's given us an unknown quantity that we've benefitted from."

Tickets for the showdown against the Swans can be booked by clicking here and printing at home or calling 0871 663 1878330*. Alternatively, fans can visit the Park End box office or our city centre ticket outlets at Everton Two and TicketQuarter.

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