Martinez reveals motives behind Mirallas substitution
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has dismissed the suggestion Kevin Mirallas was substituted in Monday's 0-0 draw with West Brom as a response to the forward assuming penalty duties ahead of Leighton Baines.
The Belgian was seemingly dead-set on taking a penalty awarded to Everton when Joleon Lescott handled towards the end of the first half at Goodison Park.
Despite usual taker Baines boasting an impressive record from the spot, Mirallas stepped up, only to fire wide of Ben Foster's right-hand post.
The Belgian was subsequently substituted at the break, but Martinez insisted the decision was based on an injury rather than a desire to punish Mirallas.
"Obviously our penalty-taker is Leighton Baines, but in the same way we had a penalty shootout [against West Ham] on Tuesday and Kevin felt really confident and wanted to take it," the Spaniard told Sky Sports.
"He was feeling he could take the penalty and Leighton Baines was quite happy for him to do that. If he hits the back of the net, nothing would have happened.
"He felt confident and wanted to take it. Leighton Baines was happy for him to do that.
"Missing the target makes it a big issue but both players have enough quality, personality and charatcer to convert the penalty. At that moment he [Mirallas] felt confident.
"For me, Leighton Baines is the number-one penalty taker and at that point I was happy for Leighton Baines and Kevin to discuss it.
"The issue is we haven’t scored the penalty and it becomes a big talking point.
"The big disapointment is we couldn't convert the penalty, not who took it.
"[Mirallas] wasn't 100 per cent, he was feeling his hamstring. He wasn't moving freely and we needed dynamic players in the second half."
Everton suffered further frustration following the withdrawal of Mirallas as a dogged West Brom held firm to claim a valuable point in their battle against relegation.
Martinez's men are now winless in six Premier League games.