Roberto Martinez says he was impressed by Joel’s first appearance between the Everton sticks as the goalkeeper prepares to get another run out against Accrington Stanley this evening.
The summer arrival from Atletico Madrid played the full 90 minutes as the Blues kicked off their pre-season with a narrow defeat at Austria Vienna on Sunday.
American No.1 Tim Howard is not scheduled to return to pre-season training until after tonight’s game and Martinez told evertontv: “Joel is a very confident man and I thought he performed like a player who has been at Everton for years. Probably that’s the biggest strength that he has – he’s got a real mental strength and a maturity and I’m sure the fans enjoyed what they saw of him.”
Everton tackle League Two Accrington at the Store First Stadium and Martinez insists it will serve as another valuable marker of where his side is at.
An away allocation of 1,600 has already sold out, with fans set to see Arouna Kone, Seamus Coleman,Nikica Jelavic and John Heitinga all return to the fold following extended summer breaks.
And Martinez added: “The players are working hard and it was great to see the fans [in Austria].
“We had a large amount of numbers and I hope they had a good break and they enjoyed seeing the players working hard.
“Obviously we need to be working and being able to perform over the next few weeks in the manner that we want to and start getting a little bit more like the way we want to play.”