Everton manager Roberto Martinez “shocked” by Watford start

Roberto Martinez and Quique Sanchez Flores

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Everton manager Roberto Martinez has admitted that his team were shocked by Watford following their opening-day 2-2 draw on Saturday.

The Toffees fell behind in the first half when Miguel Layun bundled the ball into the back of the net but midfielder Ross Barkley did restore parity thanks to a piledriver from the edge of the box in the 76th-minute

Striker Odion Ighalo then restored Watford’s advantage in the 83rd-minute before substitute Arouna Kone managed to earn a point for the Merseyside outfit when he placed the ball into the bottom corner from inside the box with just four minutes left.

After earning promotion last season, the Hornets are one of the favourites to go down but Martinez admitted his side were shocked by their intensity.

Martinez told Sky Sports News HQ: “In the first half, we were in a little bit of a pre-season mode.

“That can happen sometimes especially playing against a newly-promoted side who have that enthusiasm and readiness for the game. They shocked us a little bit in that respect.

“But when you go behind twice and get back level you can get a lot of good lessons from our character and the spirit that we got in the group. We had no threat in the first half. Everything was quite slow and pedestrian.

“I am sure that from this moment on we will be ready to be in competition mode. The second-half performance is exactly what we need but the first-half performance is something we don’t want to repeat.”

After the game, Martinez also confirmed that Leighton Baines will miss more than “just two or three weeks” after injuring his ankle during training in midweek.

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