Everton manager Roberto Martinez hailed the professionalism his side showcased during a gritty 2-1 win over QPR at Loftus Road, coming just three days after a damaging Europa League exit in Ukraine.
Goals from Seamus Coleman and Aaron Lennon, his first for the Toffees, sandwiched Eduardo Vargas’ opportunist strike to secure a narrow victory to all but banish any lingering relegation fears.
The Everton squad arrived back in the UK at 2am on Friday after a thumping 5-2 defeat to Dynamo Kiev on Thursday evening, and Martinez pointed to the squad effort which helped obtain the three points.
“The professionalism of the players was second to none, you saw today it was a real squad effort,” said the 41-year-old.
“We stayed at the team hotel and prepared straight away in the next 24 hours. It was difficult but we have experience and our players know how to react to that kind of situation.”
The Spaniard said he had been impressed with recent QPR displays against Arsenal and Tottenham, so was aware what kind of game to expect and praised the gritty nature of his players' performance.
“We adapted to what they do extremely effectively. We were magnificent in that respect, it was not the most stylish performance but it was not a day to be technical,” said Martinez.
The win ended a bad week for the Toffees in what has been, comparatively, a disappointing season for Evertonians, but Martinez believes the victory at Loftus Road indicates the team is capable of juggling multiple demands.
Martinez said: “We are not in a position that we wanted to be in the league, but I think we are stronger as a team after the experiences we had in Europe.
“We have a team that has the mentality to play in Europe and cope with the demands domestically.”