Tom Cleverley injury at Spurs not serious, says Everton boss Roberto Martinez

Roberto Martinez reflects on Everton's draw, Tom Cleverley and John Stones

Roberto Martinez has played down fears over Tom Cleverley's injury after the Everton midfielder was stretchered off during the draw against Totteham.

The 26-year-old was carried off just before half-time during the 0-0 stalemate with Spurs following a heavy tackle by midfielder Eric Dier.

Former England international Cleverley has started every Premier League match since his summer switch from Manchester United and was treated on the pitch by the medical team before his ankle was put in a protective brace.

Tom Cleverley uncomfortable after suffering an injury at White Hart Lane
Image: Tom Cleverley uncomfortable after suffering an injury at White Hart Lane

Martinez said: "The physio is a little bit more positive [than he was at half-time]. 

"I think it is clearly ligament damage - but, straight away, we were fearing it could have been ligament damage and a fracture as well.

"It shows that Tom is a very, very fit man to be able to get through that collision with a [relatively] minor injury. He will still be out for a while but not as long as we first thought he might be - and we thank the luck that we had there."

Tom Cleverley of Everton is treated after picking up an injury on Saturday
Image: Tom Cleverley of Everton is treated after picking up an injury on Saturday

The goalless draw at White Hart Lane, in which Chelsea target John Stones played 90 minutes, leaves Everton with five points from their opening four games and Martinez was keen to praise his side's defensive display.

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"I thought (goalkeeper) Tim Howard was immense, not just with the actions he had but the way he was talking and creating really good communication with his centre-halves and the back four," he added.

"I thought it was a strong display from a defensive point of view. Tim is a leader and an incredible influence in the dressing room. On the pitch, he is enjoying his football and is in a very good moment.

Tim Howard says John Stones can go on to become a great player

"I was very satisfied because in this performance we had to show a lot of character and personality. Without going into any technical or tactical aspect, we had to make sure we showed good concentration.

"When we were on the ball we weren't as sharp as we normally are. We used a lot of energy on Wednesday [at Barnsley] when we came back from behind twice. There was a difference in energy levels between the two sides."

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