Everton boss Roberto Martinez excited by potential but says title talk is too early
Roberto Martinez admits he is "excited" by Everton's potential as they head into Christmas in sight of top spot.
Last Updated: 23/12/13 11:59am
Sunday's win at Swansea left Everton with 14 points from a run of six games which included trips to Old Trafford and the Emirates.
Roberto Martinez's side have been beaten just once in the league and will enter the Christmas period no worse than four points behind the leaders - with three of their next four games at home and Leighton Baines close to a return.
The Spaniard would not be drawn on Everton's title chances at his final press conference before Sunderland visit Goodison Park on Boxing Day.
But he said: "Our potential excites me. We're performing in a very consistent way but it's only December.
"We've got scorers all over the pitch and when you have that you become unpredictable."
Everton have one of the league's form players in Ross Barkley, whose free-kick gave his side victory in south Wales.
Martinez has made no secret of how highly he rates Barkley, but he has consistently sought to dampen expectations about the 20-year-old ahead of next summer's World Cup.
"When we see an outstanding young man enjoying his football we always feel he's ready to win the World Cup," Martinez said. "We need to be careful.
"Ross is showing he's growing, and he is capable of doing everything on a football pitch. He's such a strong boy and can play in different positions.
"At the end of the season Ross will be ready for whatever his role is. If it's not this time I'm sure it will be in the future - he's got that potential to help the nation, but we've got to be a little bit aware he's still developing."
Baines is likely to be available for the Sunderland game after a month out with a broken toe, but Nikica Jelavic (hamstring) will be missing.