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Published: 14:35 | 10/5/16

Martinez expects big reaction


Roberto Martinez has vowed to protect the integrity of the Premier League by ensuring his Everton players take the fight to Sunderland on Wednesday night.

Everton are without an away win since their defeat of Aston Villa on March 1 and have faced 70 shots on goal in their last two away fixtures.

Leicester completely outclassed them as they celebrated their Premier League success at the King Power Stadium on Saturday and a similar performance against Sunderland would almost certainly end in defeat.

Sunderland need a win to secure their top flight status for another season but Martinez has warned his players he expects a much-improved performance especially as he match will have a bearing on the relegation battle.

"The reaction has been clear since the final whistle and we all have a strong desire to get back to our best level and tomorrow is the opportunity we have to show that," Martinez told his press conference.

"It's a huge, huge game - not just because of what Sunderland are playing for.

"I think the integrity of the Premier League has always been the strongest of any league that you're going to see in Europe, and from our point of view it's about reacting from our performance against Leicester. Nothing else.

"There's no need for any bigger assurance than we're all fighting and we'll all have to react tomorrow."

Martinez's future as Everton manager is uncertain but the Spaniard has dismissed suggestions that the players are no longer interested in playing for him.

"It's not such a thing as winning the players back. Two weeks ago we had a good response, a really good, determined performance, to get a win at home against Bournemouth," he said.

"Then we went away to Leicester in a game where we got caught up with the atmosphere and the celebration of a unique footballing achievement, and probably that lack of intensity cost the performance.

"But we never lost the fight, we scored late in the game and we always wanted to try to get something out of the game. But if you don't match the intensity of your opponent, it'll be very, very difficult.

"Tomorrow that intensity needs to be matched. Sunderland have got a very good record at home in the last six games, they had very good performances, they've got a good continuity in their line-up, so we know exactly what we're going to face."

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