Jela's Brace Boosts Boss
Attacking options please Martinez as Croatian nets on return.
Roberto Martinez says the contribution of Nikica Jelavic in Saturday’s 3-1 friendly win at Blackburn highlights the different attacking options he has at his disposal.
The Spaniard was in upbeat mood after watching his side record their second victory of pre-season at Ewood Park.
Six different players have now scored in the three summer friendlies after Jelavic’s second-half double added to Kevin Mirallas’ 25th-minute opener.
Martinez reserved special praise for the Croatian striker who was at his menacing best and could easily have added to his brace with the further goalscoring chances that fell in his direction.
“He [Jelavic] is desperate to help the team,” Martinez told evertontv. “He has come back fully focused and I thought his work-rate was fantastic and he was a real threat in front of goal.
“It’s really pleasing when you have got Nikica Jelavic, Arouna Kone and Victor Anichebe, who has been playing really well in the last two games before today. There is Apostolos Vellios as well so that shows you the competition that you want in the squad going forward.”
The Blues are now almost halfway through their pre-season schedule with four matches still to play before the Premier League kicks off on August 17.
Martinez is satisfied with how preparations are developing before the opening day trip to Carrow Road.
He added: “We are getting better and are adapting to each other’s way of playing. That’s very pleasing.
“Looking through the team, there are many players out there on display who were showing what they can do and what they can bring to the team which is great information for me.
“You always want more but we need to be realistic and look back at where we are physically. The next three weeks are going to be really important.
“Now it is a matter of using all the good things that we have done when we face three of the most important teams in world football [on the America tour], which is going to be great preparation.”
A crowd of over 9,000 were in attendance at Saturday’s friendly – around half of which was packed into the Darwen End away section of Ewood.
“Game after game, it gives you a feeling of satisfaction and pride to see our fans,” Martinez added. “I always heard about the away following of Everton but it isn’t until you are inside [the Club] that you realise the magnitude.
“I hope they enjoyed the exercise because I thought the players gave all that they had.”
Fans that missed the game can still watch the 90 minutes in full, as well as various highlights packages by purchasing evertontv Live here.