Everton boss Martinez hails "deadly duo" Baines and Mirallas
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has hailed Everton’s “deadly duo” of Leighton Baines and Kevin Mirallas, reports EvertonFC.com.
The former Wigan boss believes the international duo have been instrumental in Everton’s impressive season throughout the current campaign, and says he knows he can always depend on the pair when crucial opportunities arise.
Martinez, 40, said: “Both are very similar and Kevin Mirallas’ quality is as good as Leighton Baines, but obviously with different feet. Kevin Mirallas, being right-footed, has got a completely different profile to Leighton Baines. There are areas around the 18-yard box where one player has got an advantage more than the other.
“It would be difficult to separate them but what I like about the two players is that, more than the execution or the technical aspect of hitting the ball, they know the meaning of scoring a goal to get three points. Both have got the mentality of controlling the moment. It’s something you have to be born with.
“You can learn the technique of the execution, but it is knowing when you have the opportunity to win the three points that is crucial.
“Some players freeze but those two are incredible.”
Baines had been the subject of much interest from nearby rivals Man United, particularly during the summer, but recently signed a new and improved deal to keep him at Goodison Park for the forseeable future.
Baines began his career at Wigan in 2002, seven years before Martinez arrived at the club, but left in 2007 – two years before the manager began his reign at the club. The pair finally united at Everton, and Martinez’s determination not to let the England international go anywhere proved fruitful when he retained the left-back’s services earlier this season.
Mirallas joined Everton in August 2012 from Olympiacos, for a fee of around £6m. He previously played for Lille and Saint-Etienne and has won 42 caps for his native Belgium, having made his senior international debut in 2007.
See what the expert tipsters are tipping on OLBG