Everton manager Roberto Martinez has backed Bournemouth to stand by the attacking style of football that has fired them to the Premier League.
Everton face the Cherries at the Vitality Stadium this weekend, and despite winning only two points in their last seven games, Martinez is not underestimating the threat that Eddie Howe’s side pose.
Everton go into the game having scored 11 goals in their last three games, and on the back of a comprehensive 4-0 win over Aston Villa last weekend.
Bournemouth are currently second-bottom of the Premier League, but manager Howe has vowed to stand by their free-flowing, attacking football that saw them lift the Championship title last season.
Speaking about Bournemouth’s style, Martinez said: “I don’t think I’m revealing a secret when I say Bournemouth were not one of the favourite teams to get promoted from the Championship – so when you see that enormous success, why would you change it?
“I think their success over the years has been that clarity and understanding of how they want to play, and it has been a really successful story – there is no need to change anything.”
Eddie Howe’s side have been hit by some serious injuries this season, including major injuries to star striker Callum Wilson, as well as record summer signings Max Gradel and Tyrone Mings.
And Martinez admits that key injuries are “always going to have an effect”, but he remains wary of the threat that Bournemouth still pose going forward.
The 42-year-old said: “I think Bournemouth carry a winning mentality from what they achieved in the last two or three seasons.
“To lose some of your most influential players is always going to have an effect.
“But they are very clear in the way they want to play, based on what they do on the ball – they want to break teams down and bring on attacking play and score goals.
“At the moment they are in a run of negative results, but I think the way they perform is not like a team that has not got belief or confidence in what they are trying to do,” he added.
“They are a team that can click at any time and get a positive result, and we need to be very wary that it doesn’t happen at the weekend.
“I know we are going to be heavily tested and need to be at our best.”