sport

Martinez: Flexibility is crucial

Roberto Martinez says Everton need to be "flexible tactically" and will regularly change formation and their way of playing this season.

Everton head to Old Trafford on Wednesday night where Manchester United boss David Moyes awaits his former club.

Despite having lost only once this season - at Manchester City - Martinez admits it will be a test of his team's character and capabilities.

But having guided Everton to fifth place so far the Toffees manager believes they can be more than a match for the defending champions - and he will use all his tactical nous in a bid to get the better of his predecessor.

Martinez has already experimented with a back three, which he switched to with the game won against Stoke on Saturday, and he insists it is that ability to change and adapt which makes the team so strong.

"We need to be flexible tactically, we need to be a team who can adapt different ways of playing," he said.

"I feel it is important certain players bring you a completely different way of playing and we have a few players who can do that and this season and I was pleased to bring it into practise.

"Those are options we need to have. You have certain players who make you special in playing a certain system and that is important.

"When you have those players who are not available (influential left-back Leighton Baines is currently out with a broken toe) you have to be special with any ways of playing.

"Tactical flexibility is a must in our squad if you want to compete against anyone with the same standards.

"It is not going to be something strange for us to change formations and change the way of playing."

Martinez also believes he has a variety and depth in his squad to be able to compete consistently over the campaign.

Midfielder Ross Barkley and forward Kevin Mirallas were both left on the bench for the defeat of the Potters as 19-year-old on-loan Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu took centre-stage.

"In the modern game you are as good as your squad, it is not a game for 11 players any more," he added.

"I am really excited we have terrific senior players in the dressing room who give great direction but it excites me the talent we have with the younger players.

"I always felt Gerard would take a little bit of time to settle but on Saturday he showed what he can do and how ready he is to help - that is what we have throughout the team in many positions.

"When you have someone at the age of 19 that is happy to take the experience of living outside the comfort of his homeland and come to the British league with a huge change in culture that shows you the mentality of Gerard."