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HOW ROBERTO IS MAKING US SMILES BETTER.

Byline: Tom Hopkinson

SWANSEA v EVERTON

Today, KO 4pm

Live on Sky Sports 1

STEVEN PIENAAR has revealed the Roberto Martinez mantra - 'Dominate Games And Be Happy'.

The Everton boss is a stickler for possession football with flair, but he also wants his players to have a smile on their faces.

Pienaar explained: "The manager's philosophy is always, 'If you keep the ball, you're not going to work as hard as the other team'. He wants us to go out there and dominate a game.

"He is a very positive guy. When he arrived he told us: 'Listen, you have to get over your fears now. Just go out and enjoy the game.' That was his team talk."

The high-flying Goodison Park men travel to Swansea today to take on one of Martinez's old sides, in a match between teams who like to play with a certain style.

"Roberto started the way Swansea are playing, so it will be interesting to see how we go out and play," added Pienaar.

"It will be like a game of chess, plus who wants it most. We want to go there and win, so we have to work hard to make sure we do."

Pienaar has found life under Martinez a big change from working with previous manager David Moyes.

Moyes' strength comes from his intensity, but laid-back Martinez operates in a very different way.

"I can't say how things have changed on a day-to-day basis," said Pienaar. "It is just the way Roberto is so relaxed in training.

"The trust the manager has in his players is unbelievable.

"After the last game against Fulham, he said: 'Some of you guys didn't enjoy it the way I want you to, you didn't play with a smile on your faces.' He is so positive, it carries over to the team."

On Everton's prospects of a top-four finish, Pienaar was guarded. "The mentality of the players in the squad is to aim high," he said. "But we don't want to put any pressure on ourselves.

"Anything is possible, but it's still early. We just have to keep winning games and we can talk about the top four in March."

Powerful

Swansea chief Michael Laudrup has confessed that he tried to sign powerful frontman Romelu Lukaku during the summer.

The Belgium star has been a revelation since joining Everton on a season-long loan from Chelsea, scoring eight times in 13 games.

And Laudrup revealed Lukaku, 20, could have been doing the business in a Swansea shirt.

He said: "We asked for him, but Chelsea said no.

"At the time, they wanted to keep him. I didn't call again. I should have called at the last moment, but we had already signed Wilfried Bony by then."

Steven Pienaar was speaking at an event to thank Everton In The Community volunteers.

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WE'RE GRIN IT TO WIN IT: Pienaar is enjoying life under Everton boss Martinez
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 22, 2013
Words:489
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