Kone: “Martinez is the best in the league. I want to repay him and be back in a month”

    Stiker Arouna Kone says he is desperate to bounce back from his difficult first season at Everton and repay the faith shown in him by manager Roberto Martinez.

    Since joining the Blues from Wigan last season for just under £6 million, the Ivorian hasn’t impressed too much, but picked up a cruel and unfortunate long-term injury that has kept him from turning that perspective around.

    Kone, who is currently in Thailand visiting main Club sponsor Chang, expects to return to full training within a month and hasn’t ruled out making further run outs for the Blues this term.

    He also says the tough experience he has endured has made him hungry to repay not only his manager, but the fans who have helped him through his frustrating ordeal.

    “I’m feeling far better,” Kone told in a rare interview. “It’s been a long time in the gym but I have some great friends at Everton who have kept me going.

    “I’ve worked closely with Matt Connery, one of the physios, and now I’m hoping to be back in training in three or four weeks.

    “It’s been difficult just doing nothing as a player but the hard times have passed.

    “Next season will be massive for me. I want to play every game and make up for lost time. Goals will be my priority obviously. I want to help get us into the top four.

    “I came here because of Roberto and it was always my objective to carry on working with him when he left Wigan and took over at Everton.

    “He is the best in the Premier League. He gives us the two technical insights of England and Spain, where I have also played.

    “I have progressed enormously as a player under him. Every day you learn under him. He speaks so well with the players and makes us more confident. He is a people-person who gets close to his players.”

    The 30-year-old also added that being joined in the treatment room by team-mates Darron Gibson, Bryan Oviedo and Lacina Traore have helped him mentally, providing a great sense of togetherness in motivation to return to the side.

    He said: “Bryan and Gibbo have been supporting me all the way along. We call each other every day and there is brilliant team spirit here but especially with us three because of our shared experience.

    “Lacina is also going through a difficult time but I’ve given him advice. I played with Lacina’s brother years ago back in Ivory Coast. Lacina is a good player who will really add something when he’s fit.

    “It’s sad for him but he will be back stronger too, I’m sure.”

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    1. Is Traore going to be a permanent fixture then? They all keep talking as if he has a long term future with us.Surely he’ll go back to Monaco for next season,or else why did they buy him? It looks increasingly like the Hammers fans who laughed when we signed him were right.


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