Roberto Martinez has said that Everton's squad is "really large" – but he is not under any pressure to sell players this month. The 42-year-old Toffees boss is delighted with the quality of his current players, and has insisted anyone who leaves Goodison Park during the transfer window will do so for "football reasons" only. Martinez has claimed that Everton currently boast a number of world-class players. He also urged fans not to fret if he decides to trim his squad in the coming weeks.
"We need to be aware of the special side that we have. We shouldn't worry about losing players because if we do, it is for football reasons," explained Martinez during his pre-match press conference for Everton's League Cup Semi-Final First Leg against Manchester City. "The players we have now, for me, are world-class."
Martinez said Everton's squad has become bloated because of their involvement in the Europa League last season, meaning some players have seen minimal playing time during the current campaign. He reflected: "This squad is still really large because it was prepared for European football, so there are people who haven't had enough football as they wanted. So we have to make a couple of decisions in order to benefit everyone."
The Toffees currently sit in the bottom half of the Premier League table and Martinez admitted he can empathise with the frustration of fans. But he called on the Goodison Park faithful to remain patient with his team.
He said: "The fans are showing the great frustration we share, we have to be patient, we can't just become, overnight, a good team and have the experience and know-how to keep the leads and win games."
One player who will not be leaving Everton in January is Kevin Mirallas, who has been on the fringes of the team this season and has been linked with a move away from the club. Martinez said: "What we have seen with Kevin is that he's signed a new contract, had a good pre-season but we have really good attacking options. But the way he has been working in the last few weeks, I expect Kevin to have a major, major influence in the second half of the season."
The Everton boss also revealed the Toffees did not suffer any fresh injuries during their 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend. However, he admitted the League Cup tie against Manchester City on 6 January has come too soon for some of his returning players.
He shared: "We have no setbacks from the game we played against Spurs, so we have the same squad available for Wednesday. Tom Cleverley came through well. Phil Jagielka is ready to play, but the weekend is a better time. For James [McCarthy], every day is important. It won't be too far, probably the end of the month. Steven Pienaar is working well and should be available for the weekend."