LIVERPOOL -- Everton left-back Leighton Baines faces a late fitness test on a quad muscle injury as manager Roberto Martinez seeks a quick upturn in Premier League form. Baines is a doubt for Wednesday's league trip to Stoke after missing the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on Sunday with a knock sustained in training.
England Under-21 defender Luke Garbutt is on standby to deputise for a third successive match, as second choice left-back Bryan Oviedo is also injured.
"Leighton Baines will have a fitness test today and we'll make a final decision," Martinez said. Everton are six points above the relegation zone, in 14th place, after winning one of their last 11 league matches, and Martinez has acknowledged that results need to improve.
He said: "We need to be consistent in the middle of the emotion surrounding a negative statistic.
"We need to be able to perform well and to overcome the small margins, so that good performances can be reflected in good scorelines.
"Anyone who watched the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal could see that we were very, very close to getting a positive result in that game.
"We're not getting the results that we want, but we've a great opportunity to go into the final 11 league games of the season, create momentum and see how many points we can get.
"We're not highlighting stats, because they can be used any way you want," Martinez said, adding that he has no concerns about retaining Garbutt in his starting lineup if Baines is unavailable.
The 21-year-old has made seven appearances this season, playing in both legs of the recent Europa League round of 32 victory over Swiss club Young Boys.
Martinez said that there was no news on a new contract for Garbutt, whose current deal runs out in June, but is pleased with his progress.
"I think he showed the level of form he's in against Arsenal," the manager said.
"That's one of the biggest strengths we have as a football club.
"We've got a production line of talent that is always ready to be in the first team.
"We're blessed with the quality that we've got in the left-back position.
"But even when Leighton Baines has been out and then Bryan Oviedo picked up an injury, you've got a young man such as Luke Garbutt who has been following all his steps.
"He's shown that he's ready. I thought his performance against Arsenal was very, very strong, and very good.
"He didn't look fazed in any way. I've got no worries whatsoever about seeing Luke Garbutt in the starting lineup."