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Everton must get new hires right

Everton
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 By Mike Whalley

Tim Howard set to return to Everton goal at Chelsea - Roberto Martinez

Everton manager Roberto Martinez spoke to the media ahead of the Merseyside Derby and insisted that Aaron Lennon is happy to join the club.

LIVERPOOL -- Tim Howard is ready to return in goal when Everton travel to Premier League leaders Chelsea on Wednesday.

U.S. international Howard has been out of action since suffering a calf injury during the 1-0 home defeat to Stoke in December.

Joel Robles has started Everton's last eight games, keeping clean sheets in the last three against West Brom, Crystal Palace and Liverpool.

But although manager Roberto Martinez has been pleased with the Spaniard's form, he intends to recall Howard for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

"Tim has been working really well," he said "Yesterday, he trained well. He's fully fit now for any sort of game.

Tim Howard and the Everton defence kept the Toffees in many matches away from Goodison Park last season.
Tim Howard is back in the picture for Everton after injury.

"Whenever Tim is fit, he's our No. 1 for the experience that he has and what he represents to the squad. I've got total faith in him."

Martinez effectively committed himself to playing Howard whenever he is fit, saying he believed rotation was not an option when it came to goalkeepers.

"Goalkeeper is not like any other position," he said. "I do feel that the outfield positions are more about moments of form, ways of playing against the opposition and different ways of approaching games. In goal, you need stability.

"Joel has been really good. He's still a young man in terms of the number of games he's played, but he's someone with a really good future."

Meanwhile, England left-back Leighton Baines is likely to miss the Chelsea game with the knee problem that forced him to miss the 0-0 Premier League draw at home to Liverpool on Saturday.

Baines failed a late fitness test ahead of that game, and Martinez said: "It's difficult at the moment to see him being involved.

"We'll see how he is today, we'll assess him again, and we'll make a final decision closer to the game."

Winger Aiden McGeady, who sat out the Merseyside derby with a knee injury suffered in training, will definitely be missing on Wednesday.

Martinez said he was hopeful that the Republic of Ireland international's absence would be short, adding: "The bone had a really strong bruise, and that will take a little time to clear, so he's not training at the moment. It will take a few days."

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