Roberto Martinez says his players deserve immense credit after Everton clocked up a Club record seventh consecutive Premier League win at the Stadium of Light.
Martinez admitted the Toffees had to dig deep to secure the 1-0 win over Sunderland, which was decided by Wes Brown’s late own goal.
But the Spaniard was quick to deflect the praise towards those out on the pitch when asked about the satisfaction he took in achieving the record run of results and what is now Everton’s highest-ever Premier League points tally.
Martinez told evertontv: “It is really satisfying because we knew it was going to be a difficult game. It was very tense and very cagey because of the meaning it had at this stage of the season.
“The most pleasing aspect is to have that character and focus to find a way to get a positive result. To get a win was immense and it just shows what we have got in the dressing room.
“Seven straight wins in the Premier League is not an easy stat to achieve with the diversity of styles you face, the requirements of the players and the stage of the season.
“It is pleasing, but mostly for the players. To do it (seven straight wins), you need to be prepared to have really high standards and be prepared sometimes to suffer and sometimes to be expansive.
“It’s a great stat to have but, as you can imagine, we want to expand that.”
The goal that clinched all three points arrived following trickery from Deulofeu, who caused endless amounts of problems for Sunderland’s defence after returning to Everton’s starting line-up.
“We knew that Gerard Deulofeu could bring that magic and spark,” Martinez continued. “In games like this you need that sort of contribution.
“I think the way we worked hard for each other, kept Sunderland quiet and kept a clean sheet was fantastic. It was a cup final for them – and it was for us too.”