Martinez searching for long-term keeper

Martinez searching for long-term keeper
Tim Howard, pictured, is out for six weeks.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez’s targeting of a long-term goalkeeping solution in January would appear to put the future of Joel Robles in doubt.

The 24-year-old Spaniard is currently deputising for Tim Howard, who is sidelined for six weeks with a calf injury, and while the Toffees boss will look for additional cover while the transfer window is open he is not considering a quick fix.

Both experienced United States international Howard and Robles have three years remaining on their contracts, with the former signing a two-year extension last April and remaining first choice even though Martinez signed Robles, with whom he had worked at Wigan on loan from Atletico Madrid, when he took over at Goodison Park in the summer of 2013.

Robles potentially has a few weeks to convince his manager he can do a job for him but Martinez is already looking at alternatives.

“Tim Howard is going to be out for six or seven weeks so we are a little bit exposed in that department as there is only Joel in the squad with any experience,” he said.

“The other two young players (Jindrich Stanek and Russell Griffiths) at the club have terrific potential but it would be unfair to put them in a situation where they have to win games.

“I don’t think it would be positive for any youngster to have to cope with a debut, they need to play league football before they can be thrown into first-team action.

“You want the young players to be ready and we will give them opportunities but now we have to be relying on experience and that is why we will look into that situation.

“There are a couple of options I feel could fit really well but I wouldn’t just bring in anyone who stops the development of a youngster.

“I would rather make it a long-term signing. I don’t think short-term would be a solution for us now.”

Robles will continue in goal against West Ham on Tuesday, an FA Cup tie in which Martinez admits his side need to put in a performance to silence the doubters.

His team have lost their last four matches and have just one win and a draw in nine games, a run which has seen some fans begin to question the Spaniard’s suitability.

“I think it is completely normal,” added Martinez.

“As a club we have all been disappointed by the results. We now have three games at home and it is really important we support each other.

“We need to get that positive result which would trigger our season and a bit of momentum, which I don’t think we have had this season.

“The message to the fans is very clear – we are all together and when we face adversity we need to react in the proper way.

“We showed so far that we have a very talented group and going through negative dynamics is just a part of finding the right formula to fulfil our potential.

“It is time to help each other, help the players enjoy their football and we will get the reward from it because the talent and quality is there.

“We are here to win games and build something for the future, not just for now, it is to build for the future and become a winning team.”

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