We use cookies to provide you with a better service. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.

6 great sport channels

Football, Rugby, UFC, GAA

All free when you join eir Broadband

Subscribe to eir Sport
Published: 16:49 | 2/2/16

Martinez: Stones 'strong enough'

Criticism not an issue, says boss

John Stones is comfortably strong enough to deal with recent criticism, says Everton boss Roberto Martinez.

The young central-back has endured a difficult period of late. After playing a loose pass that led to a penalty kick at home to Swansea City in the Premier League, Stones was blamed by some for Sergio Aguero's winning League Cup semi-final goal, being substituted in that second-clash clash at Manchester City following the Argentine’s header.

He was left out of the reckoning for Everton's FA Cup win away to Carlise United on Sunday, while facing media censure over his defensive discipline and alleged tendency to overplay in his own third.

Everton manager Martinez, however, is confident that the criticism will not affect Stones and that the defender will soon be back to his best.

“You are talking about a player of 21 who has played over 92 percent of the minutes (1,890 of a possible 2,070) in the league, which is a phenomenal return," said the Spaniard.

“When you reach the level of John Stones, you are going to get that scrutiny, and John is strong enough mentally to understand that is going to be his role in professional football and representing England for the next 15-20 years.

“John is such a strong-minded boy and has been through a lot over the last eight months but has done it professionally. In those moments, you need to know who you can trust and you need fair criticism and fair evaluation of your performances.

“It is not an issue.”

Stones is expected to return to Everton's match-day squad for the league encounter with Newcastle United at Goodison Park on Wednesday night.

The former Barnsley man appeared set to leave Merseyside for Chelsea last summer but, following a series of unsuccessful large bids from the West Londoners, remained with the Toffees.

By David Maher

Gundogan feared his career was over

12:52 | Today

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan says he feared his career was over following a back injury that sidelined him for over a year.

Superb Liverpool beat Baggies

19:03 | 22/10/16

A late Gareth McAuley consolation cost Liverpool top-spot in the Premier League as the Reds ran out 2-1 winners in what was a dominant performance.

Klopp hints at Gerrard coaching role

00:13 | Today

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hinted that Steven Gerrard may be offered a coaching role at Anfield in the coming months.

Arter accepts Sissoko apology

11:45 | Today

Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter has accepted Moussa Sissoko's apology for elbowing him during Saturday's Premier League draw with Tottenham.

Rooney ruled out of Chelsea clash

01:30 | Today

Wayne Rooney will miss Manchester United's Premier League clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday with a muscle injury.

What’s in the eir Sport Pack?

We’ve got heartstopping action across 6 great sports channels, with 42 Premier League games, every Champions League game and every Europa League game, as well as UFC, Allianz Leagues GAA, Golf, F1 and much more.