Martinez challenges Jelavic & Kone to challenge Lukaku for Everton starting role

The manager is hopeful his two back-up strikers can take full advantage of first-team chances and challenge the young Belgian loan for a more prominent role at Goodison Park
Roberto Martinez has challenged Nikica Jelavic and Arouna Kone to challenge Romelu Lukaku for a starting berth at Everton.

Jelavic enjoyed a fruitful start to his Everton career but fell away in his first full season whilst Kone is yet to get off the mark for his new club following a summer move from Wigan.

Martinez is confident the pair can usurp Lukaku - who is on loan from Chelsea for the season - and he believes their positive approach to football will serve them well in the search for goals.

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"Niki [Jelavic] is a top player and he's desperate to be on the pitch," Martinez told the Liverpool Echo. "But every top-class player wants to be at a top-class football club, and to do that you need to be able to cope with competition and high demands.

"His attitude has been a 10 out of 10 and that's why when a player comes on as a sub he makes a big difference and the team benefits.

"It's a real focus to be as good as you can as an individual, but everything comes down to the team so Niki, Arouna, and everyone who isn't starting needs to do what they can to help the team.

"In a competition of 10 months you need everyone ready, everyone working hard, and whoever is on the pitch benefits from that. Nikica Jelavic has been really important in the way he works.

"I thought he worked really hard in his early performances and they were really good."

Jelavic scored nine goals in his opening 13 games for Everton but notched just seven in the league last season, while Lukaku has five in five since joining on deadline day.