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Mar 11, 2014

Martinez warns Everton: Be street-wise

Roberto Martinez has told his Everton players they must be more street-wise if they are to become successful.

Martinez wants his team to retain a reputation for fair play without being taken advantage of.

Roberto Martinez has warned his team not to let opponents take advantage with gamesmanship.

The manager admitted to being frustrated by an incident during Saturday's 4-1 FA Cup quarterfinal defeat at Arsenal -- one that he felt illustrated a problem his side must overcome.

Everton left-back Leighton Baines kicked the ball out of play when his team were in a good position to attack because he thought Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta was injured and needed treatment.

But referee Mark Clattenburg was prepared to let Everton play on after the challenge on Arteta by Seamus Coleman. Under Law 5 of FIFA's approved football rules, it is the referee's responsibility to stop play if he believes an injured player needs treatment.

Martinez, like Clattenburg, felt that there was no need to stop play when Arteta went down -- and Everton's manager hinted at a belief that the Arsenal midfielder was guilty of gamesmanship.

He felt that the Arsenal midfielder gained an unfair advantage when Baines put the ball out of play.

O'Farrell: Rodwell's return brings questions

"It was a frustrating moment for me," Martinez told the Liverpool Echo.

"It's not that we're too nice, it's that we're a fair team. It's important for us though to identity when people are playing with that and trying to take advantage.

"That's something we need to recognise and probably that will come with experience to some of the younger players, but they need to learn that quickly.

"We want to represent our football club with the heritage and history we're proud of and I'll never change that.

"If anything we want to be a team that wins with style, without having to look for the small margins in a way which doesn't represent our history -- the game-playing."

Martinez is keen to ensure that his players do not fall victim to gamesmanship as they chase a European place, claiming that his side also suffered as they lost 1-0 at Chelsea in the Premier League on Feb. 22.

"It happened against Chelsea as well -- it's that hidden know-how that allows players to take advantage," he added.

"We just need to make sure it doesn't cost us. I don't care about us using it but we need to know how not to get disadvantaged by it.

"I'll never compromise what we represent in terms of winning games.

"But if you have a player that wants to lie down on the pitch and moan to the referee, we shouldn't stop the game. Mikel used that to his advantage and we need to be aware of that.

"We should punish that sort of reaction and behaviour with penetrating football and by using the players we have on the pitch.

"It's a lesson to be learned. But it's a learning curve."

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