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Boss Wary Of 'Galvanised' Fulham


Roberto Martinez says Everton will this weekend face a completely different Fulham side to the one they comfortably brushed aside 4-1 in the corresponding Goodison meeting earlier in the season.

Rene Meulensteen’s team were in the midst of a dire run of form when they visited Merseyside in December and returned to the capital having suffered their seventh defeat in eight games.

The former Manchester United coach was axed in February and swiftly replaced by Felix Magath who has only overseen one victory from his five games in charge.

However, Martinez believes the German, a two-time Bundesliga winner with Bayern Munich in 2005 and 2006, has already had a noticeable influence on the Cottagers.

Martinez said: “Fulham are a team that are going to make it very difficult for us. They had a very good victory against Newcastle and have a group of players that will feel were unfortunate in a couple of results at home.

“Felix Magath took on a challenge of getting a big points average in a short period of time to stay in the Premier League.

“He brings an incredible amount of experience and he has had real success. He is very clear in the way that he gets his teams set up and I do feel that since he has been at Fulham they have been unfortunate in a couple of games.

“He will have found out a lot about his new players and I do feel this Fulham side is a completely different from the one that came to Goodison Park and that they can perform really strongly from now until the end of the season, especially at Craven Cottage.”  

Everton have won their last four Premier League matches but Martinez admits the Blues’ chances of extending that run have been made more difficult by the way Fulham have become ‘galvanised’ in their battle against relegation.

Martinez added: “When you are at the wrong end of the table, there is more pressure when playing at home because you feel you have to get the three points. But once you get to the last seven games of the season you get rid of that pressure.

“You want to be at home and the whole football club gets galvanised. I’ve experienced it many times and the final five games at home becomes a real advantage.

“I think Fulham are at that moment of trying to get a final push to achieve their aim.”

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