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Tim Howard criticism wide of mark, says Everton's Roberto Martinez

Tim Howard made a number of saves to deny Spurs
Image: Tim Howard was criticised for Bournemouth's third goal on Saturday

Everton boss Roberto Martinez has offered his backing to under-fire goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Howard faced criticism on Saturday after appearing to be out of position when Bournemouth claimed their 98th minute equaliser in the thrilling 3-3 draw at the Vitality Stadium.

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The United States international faced scrutiny earlier in the season but Martinez says any blame should not be aimed in his direction and he remains a key member of his squad, with Joel Robles' promotion for Tuesday's Capital One Cup quarter-final at Middlesbrough - live on Sky Sports - having nothing sinister behind it.

"Joel was man of the match in the previous round and he will start tomorrow - that is something which has been planned," Martinez said.

"Since Tim came back into the side after the previous round, he has been very consistent, performing with a real influence over the back four.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Roberto Martinez Manager of Everton looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between A.F.C. Bournemouth and
Image: Roberto Martinez remains a firm fan of Howard and is happy to have two top goalkeepers in his squad

"The third goal was a real disappointment because it was the last kick of the game but as a team, we should have done a lot better, not relying on the goalkeeper.

"When someone has a free header in the six-yard box, there has to be questions over the marking."

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Everton's Roberto Martinez wonders why there was so much added time at the end of their match after Bournemouth equalised in the 98th minute

Martinez is pleased to have a back-up 'keeper as strong as Robles, even though he is yet to force his way into his Premier League line-up this season.

"Gone are the days when you have only one goalkeeper and then you are waiting for him to get injured or suspended," he added.

Joel Robles of Everton in action during the Pre Season Friendly match between Blackburn Rovers and Everton FC at Ewood Park
Image: Joel Robles will be back in the side for Capital One Cup clash with Middlesbrough

"You have to have two very good number ones who both can play different roles: Tim Howard is an incredible source of experience and someone who can give direction to young players.

"Joel has the potential to be a very special goalkeeper and that is why we brought him to the club.

"It has been important for him to be playing in the League Cup. He has shown a good level, especially against Norwich where his mentality more than anything else was tested in a penalty shoot-out. We need a squad which has two very strong goalkeepers and that is the case."

Leighton Baines is ready for a return to first-team action with Everton after two ankle surgeries
Image: Leighton Baines is ready for a return to first-team action with Everton after two ankle surgeries

Defender Leighton Baines is set to make his first appearance of the season in the matchday squad having been sidelined since May 9 after ankle surgery.

"Leighton trained really well yesterday (Sunday). He is medically fit now, it is just making sure we get the right feeling and he feels confident and the match intensity he gets in training helps him," Martinez added.

"His experience could be important tomorrow. We will assess him and see if he can be involved - that doesn't mean he has to play from the start but it would be a good sign to have him involved in the squad."

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