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Competitive Edge Pleases Boss

Martinez impressed with how the players are staking their claim.

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Roberto Martinez says Everton's players are already showing an intense desire to compete for first-team places.

The new Barclays Premier League season is a little under three weeks away and Everton have four pre-season games to play, but the new Blues boss is already witnessing his squad lay everything on the line in order to impress.

A week's training in Austria has been followed by more lung-busting work at Finch Farm - all of which has impressed Everton's Spanish chief.

He said: "A lot of time you speak about pre-season as being a period to get fit and talk about possible signings but this pre-season has been about the competitive edge we have already got in this dressing room.

"I can tell you that after the first week of work, which is normally just adaptation, everything we do is a real sign of players competing for starting positions and that has given everyone a real good feeling.

"The intensity and the work-rate have been magnificent."

Ross BarkleyBarkley made his first pre-season appearance against Blackburn at the weekend.

Martinez handed 19 members of his squad run-outs at Blackburn on Saturday, one of which was Ross Barkley, who played the first half before being substituted at the break.

The England youth international impressed in his 45-minute display – his first pre-season action - and Martinez believes he has the potential to become a key cog in Everton’s midfield engine room this season.

“I thought Ross today was a real sign of someone with talent,” Martinez explained. “He is a young man who wants to learn and is desperate to have a massive role this season. It’s great to see youngsters have this attitude and it’s going to be very positive.

The Spaniard continued: “He’s still a young man, and he needs to learn the players around him. But I’m excited to have that process with him. He has got an incredible talent. You look at young players like Gerard Deulofeu and Ross Barkley – they are at that level.

“I am really pleased with his attitude, the way he listens and wants to learn. And when he is in full flow, he can be something special.”

All three matches in the USA can be watched LIVE on evertontv. Click here for more information on how not to miss a kick of the Blues’ Stateside adventure.

Graham HirstThe more I listen to RM the more I like him, there is no edge to him, he is very respectful and talks a good game, my guess is the lads will bust a gut week in week out for this Guy COYB

Tuesday 30th July 13:33 Report Comment

jordan BaileyIts about time our youngsters got a chance. Especially barkley, think he will be a major part this season. DM was a fantastic manager but never really used our youngsters although bringing plenty in.

Tuesday 30th July 11:41 Report Comment

david lowesReally looking forward to this season. Looks like Roberto is going to give the younger players a chance

Monday 29th July 19:44 Report Comment
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