Everton manager Roberto Martinez trusts midfielder Gareth Barry to make the right call when his loan spell expires at the end of the season.
The 32-year-old’s impressive form at Goodison Park, having been deemed surplus to requirements at Manchester City, has started to attract interest from other clubs with Arsenal the latest to be linked.
But, while Martinez believes Barry is playing well enough for an England recall, he is confident there is no need to bring forward planned talks on the player’s future ahead of a summer when he becomes a free agent.
“From the beginning Gareth was a massive target of ours: he was available in the summer for other clubs and he decided to come to Everton. We did everything to bring him to the club and the relationship was to make sure he could go back to his very best, enjoy his football and have a big role at Everton.”
Defeat at White Hart Lane was only Everton’s fourth in the league and on the three other occasions they have bounced back with a victory and Martinez expects a similar response at home to Crystal Palace tonight.
Martinez plans to give on-loan Monaco striker Lacina Traore, who arrived last month with a hamstring injury, his debut from the bench.
Meanwhile, Tony Pulis believes Crystal Palace’s survival fight is about continuing momentum, keeping calm and focusing on themselves rather than being concerned by the other clubs fighting to stay in the Premier League.
Pulis takes his Eagles to Everton after accumulating 19 points from his first 13 League games in charge to lift his side out of the drop zone and towards the safer end of a congested bottom half of the table. With 13 fixtures remaining, Palace require 14 points to reach the 40-point barrier so often associated with Premier League safety.
Palace have won five of their seven home games under Pulis, but away from Selhurst Park have claimed three points, from a win at Aston Villa.
The win at Hull came on the day of the Welshman’s appointment.
Pulis made some shrewd signings last month and saw two of them score in Saturday’s defeat of West Brom, Tom Ince and Joe Ledley netting on their debuts.
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