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Everton defender Leighton Baines has apologised to manager Roberto Martinez for suggesting the team have no chemistry.
In the wake of the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United - Everton's third successive loss in the Premier League - Baines suggested the team's lack of chemistry was contributing to their poor form.
"I just don’t feel as though the chemistry is quite there with the team on the pitch at the moment, and it hasn’t been for a while. We are maybe leaning too heavily on individuals to come up with something," Baines told the Liverpool Echo.
"We’re in games, we were in the game on Sunday and had a couple of chances, but we’re not performing as a team to the level we know we can or we should be."
Martinez has defended the player by claiming his comments were misinterpreted, but admits Baines should have been more careful when speaking to the media.
"What he intended to say is that when you're not getting the results you lose confidence so a ball that could go in hits the crossbar and it goes out. At the other end, a half chance ends up in the back of the net," Martinez told reporters.
"That's what he meant and it was more of a feeling of disappointment and frustration and obviously he used the wrong words.
"It's very disappointing when you see a bit of a misinterpretation of certain words that a player says. Clearly this has been taken out of context in the way that it's come out.
"But someone with the experience of Leighton Baines - and he knows, I've had a chat with him - he has to take responsibility for those words. They've been given the opportunity to attract a meaning that is not right and for that he apologised.
"We expect a senior figure at Everton to take responsibility, to make sure that we speak on the pitch, and the way to do that is against Watford."
Everton are currently 12th in the table, on 38 points, with eight games remaining, but they are still in the FA Cup and Martinez believes their cup run has had an adverse effect on their league form.
"We need to be obsessed with the games that we've got left in the league. We're not a team that we're going to give in in one competition as important for us as the league is," the manager claimed.
"We know we've got one game in hand - we've got a lot of points to fight for.
"The last three defeats were very different, but clearly the hype that we had in achieving the semi-final of the FA Cup in a way has affected the results in the league. It's for us now to take responsibility in the league and make sure we get as many points as we can."