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Soccer-Wenger's moans are a compliment, says Everton's Martinez

Reuters

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes criticism of his side by Arsenal's Arsene Wenger should be seen as a compliment but he is keen to avoid complacency seeping into his squad ahead of Saturday's home game against Fulham (1500 GMT).

Wenger said Everton had "stopped us every single time with a foul" during the 1-1 draw in north London last weekend, which prevented Arsenal opening up a seven-point gap at the top of the Premier League.

"I see it is a compliment. When you're top of the league and have the chance to extend your lead because of results of the previous day, the disappointment is there to be seen," Martinez told reporters.

"When you get a team that stops you doing what you want because of defending, being negative and kicking, well we never did that. We had 63 percent of the possession in the first half.

"We were very composed in what we were doing and in control of the game."

Everton's style, if anything, has become more fluid since Martinez replaced Manchester United-bound David Moyes in the close season.

But despite a series of solid results, including a win over United at Old Trafford, lifting them to fifth spot, the Spaniard said his side's strong start should not be taken for granted.

Fulham are third from bottom but beat Aston Villa 2-0 at home last weekend under new manager Rene Meulensteen.

"The timing is very dangerous for us," said Martinez. "We are coming from a real high of The Emirates and Old Trafford and people might think it should be an easy win for the home side.

"But believe me, Fulham are not the third team from the bottom of this league. I don't think this team is going to be any less difficult than the difficult teams we have faced this season. I really believe that.

"I will not accept us dropping our standards. We have to be very wary of that." (Writing by Mark Meadows; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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