Roberto Martinez has asked Steven Naismith to enjoy his football a bit more and play it less safe
He said: “I think Steven’s had it very hard since he arrived at the club but I don’t really think he’s been himself.
“I saw Stevie play a lot for Kilmarnock and for Rangers and I haven’t seen that arrogance in the final third, I’ve never seen that belief or that desire. Everything has to be safe, everything has to be a bit forceful.
“The way he works for the team he deserves to lose the ball by trying to be himself. I want Steven to do that. I want him to forget about the past, I want him to forget that he’s at Everton, I want him to feel that he’s on the park enjoying his football and showing his quality because when he does that he’s a very effective footballer.
“Today, on his birthday, he couldn’t have had a more fitting present than scoring the winner.”
It was Naismith’s first start of the season, just four days after he received rich praise from Scotland boss Gordon Strachan for his performance in Macedonia.
Gareth Barry was also making his first start of the season and Martinez was delighted by his influence.
“I have been a big admirer of Gareth Barry over the years,” he added.
“I wouldn’t say there is no other Englishman who plays that role as well as Gareth, but I think Gareth is unique.
“I think that profile of footballer doesn’t really exist in English football. You always get a lot of foreign players coming in and playing that role really well but Gareth Barry is something else.
“He senses danger like nobody, he gives you composure, he is full of good decisions, he establishes good relationships all over the park and when you see a player like him who hasn’t played any minutes officially this season and then comes out and plays at that level, it shows you he is a pristine professional.
“I think he is going to be an incredible influence on James McCarthy and Ross Barkley and the other youngsters.”