23 October 2014 21:25
Roberto Martinez felt the state of Lille’s pitch was a key factor in Everton’s drab 0-0 UEFA Europa League draw on Thursday.
The Spaniard saw his side produce an efficient if unspectacular display in the Group H clash at the Grand Stade Lille Metropole.
Aiden McGeady came closest to breaking the deadlock as he was thwarted by the alert Vincent Enyeama in the second half.
And Martinez cited the playing surface as one of the reasons for the low-key nature of the contest in France.
“The television maybe didn’t show it but the pitch made it difficult for us to play our normal game,” the Everton manager told ITV.
“I thought the condition of the pitch didn’t help either team to be as brilliant as you can be on the ball.”
He was, however, content to shut out the hosts and maintain Everton’s unbeaten run in the group, leaving them top of the pile after three matches.
“We knew they were going to throw everything at us and we coped well,” Martinez added. “It was a good performance and clean sheet.
“We did penetrate and get in good positions but all in all it was a fair result. Both teams had huge respect for each other.”