English Premiership

Martinez: Rest has done Stones good

John Stone (Supplied)
John Stone (Supplied)

Cape Town - Everton boss Roberto Martinez believes John Stones has benefited from taking a break from football due to the hamstring injury he picked up in January 2015.

The England international attracted a lot criticism for his inconsistent displays prior to his injury, playing in a back-line that has conceded a Premier League-high 23 goals at home this season.

"John started with the group on Monday and has benefited a lot from the break," Martinez told reporters on Thursday.

"I expect him to be part of the squad and to have a very strong ending to the season."

Martinez's side travel to Bournemouth in an FA Cup fifth-round fixture on Saturday night, and he insists they don't need to win the competition to rescue their campaign.

The Toffees are sitting 11th in the league standings with 12 games to go.

"We don't need to win the FA Cup to save our season. We respect the FA Cup, but there is still a long way to go before we can think about winning it," said Martinez.

"It is only the fifth round now."