Roberto Martinez is looking forward to Tuesday night’s FA Cup third round replay against Bournemouth at Dean Court and insists that no matter which eleven players take to the pitch, they’re all determined to make the next round of the competition.
He said: “The replay gives us another chance to see the progression of the young players at the club and hand an opportunity to players who need minutes on the pitch.
“Their work in training shows how desperate they are to make an impact and it doesn’t matter who takes to the pitch, what matters is that we want to win and we’ll do everything in our power to make the next round of the competition.
“We all know Bournemouth have real momentum at the moment and good quality within the team, and playing at home will bring that out of them even more.
“But we’re looking forward to the test, and it will be an exciting game in which we see other members of the group meet the demands of this time of season.”
Eddie Howe’s side have now stretchered their unbeaten run to 18 games in all competitions, equalling a club record and were unlucky not to take three points from Swindon Town at the weekend instead having to settle for one following a 1-1 draw.
“In their last game they had close to a waterlogged pitch which perhaps prevented them taking all three points against Swindon Town rather than just one,” said Martinez.
“At the DW Stadium we saw a team not afraid to play and build from the back and it’s a sign of their football concepts that they have gone so many games unbeaten.
“It’s going to be a real challenge for us, but one that we’re looking forward to.”
Ivan Ramis is set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines after picking up a knee injury at Fulham on Saturday, and Martinez will wait anxiously to find out the extent of the defender’s injury after he undergoes a scan:
“He’ll have a scan today (Monday) and that will reveal the true extent of his injury. The area he has damaged has settled but we’re waiting now to hear what kind of news the scan will bring.
“It’s looks as though he’s damaged the cruciate ligaments in his knee but it’s hard to tell how long he will be out for; the structure of the knee means it could be any one of a number of injuries.
“Either way it will be disappointing news but there’s nothing we can do now other than concentrate on his rehabilitation as soon as we know the extent of his injury.
“It doesn’t mean we’re going to rush anyone back straight away and risk a recurrence of injury to them; Adrian Lopez is two weeks away from working with the team whereas Antolin Alcaraz needs a couple of weeks to find his match fitness once more.”