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Trending: Real knock out Man City

 By Mike Whalley

Martinez keeps faith in Arouna Kone

Roberto Martinez has backed striker Arouna Kone to end his Everton goal drought soon.

Arouna Kone misses a good chance to open his account against Hull.
Arouna Kone misses a good chance to open his account against Hull.

O'Farrell: Pienaar lifts Everton

Kone, 29, has failed to score in six appearances for his new club since joining from Wigan Athletic this summer for six million pounds.

The Ivory Coast international missed a great chance to open his Everton account during Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Hull, but Martinez, who brought Kone to English football from Levante in 2012 when in charge at Wigan, is certain that the striker will start scoring before too long.

The manager told the Liverpool Echo: “The goals will come. You’ll never see Arouna miss those chances again. He is adapting to life here after a difficult start.

“The good thing about him is that he’s an experienced player and he knows it’s not about missing chances -- it’s about creating chances. Coming on in the last period of the game [against Hull], he had two clear-cut chances and his hold up play was really good. I was pleased with his performance.

“I would rather see players get in the right positions and miss the chances than do okay and not get in the area you want a striker to be in. I was happy with his contribution. Scoring is a big part of a striker’s game and it’s important, but it’s not concerning me.

“I guarantee you if he gets two chances as clear-cut as he did on Saturday in every game, he will do well.”

Kone has been playing catch-up with his fitness during the early part of the season after observing Ramadan as a devout Muslim. He then suffered a knee injury just before the 1-0 Premier League victory over Chelsea on Sept. 14, which held up his progress.

His only start for the club so far came in the 2-1 Capital One Cup second-round win over Stevenage on Aug. 28, but Martinez expects him to play a bigger role as the season goes on.

The manager said: “He had to get through different situations in preseason and now he wants to help the team.

“It would be wrong for me to say a striker doesn’t need goals. Every striker needs goals because they thrive on the feeling of hitting the back of the net, but Arouna is not a young boy. He is experienced and whatever happens he always shows for the ball and is really strong with his back to play.

“His record stands up well. He’s been successful in Holland and Spain. Any introduction to a new club can be difficult at times -- especially when you can’t get a run of games.”


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