Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes his side’s 4-0 win over Stevenage was overshadowed by a very serious injury to Bryan Oviedo.
The Toffees scored four times for the second game running in the competition, as John Heitinga and Magaye Gueye added to Steven Naismith’s first half brace at Broadhall Way.
However, the win was masked by a horrible injury to Oviedo, with the Costa Rican set to be on the sidelines for the forseeable future after suffering a broken leg.
Everton later announced on Twitter that Oviedo has broken TWO bones in his left leg and will have surgery on Monday.
After the game, Martinez admitted he was desperate to get straight to hospital to check on the condition of his injured player.
The Spaniard said: “A real negative today is the unfortunate injury to Bryan Oviedo and we need to give him as much support as we can now.
“He’s had a terrific season and I’ve been very impressed with him. He’s an important player in the group and he deserves a speedy recovery.”
Two-goal hero Naismith also paid tribute to his team-mate, insisting the injury is at the fore-front of the players’ minds.
The striker said: “The main concern for us is Bryan’s injury. It’s the first time in his career that he has had a run of games, he has shown his potential and everyone in the team is looking out for him.”
Stevenage started the tie the brighter and could have taken the lead early on, had it not been for a crucial intervention from Everton defender John Stones.
And with the conditions favouring their League One opponents, Martinez was delighted to see his side progress with a typically dominant display.
He added: “We always looked a threat on the counter attack and a threat in front of goal.
“It was a real test and we always looked a threat on the counter. We wanted as professional a performance as we could and that’s as professional as it gets.
“We were brave, really attacking but the incident with Bryan affected everyone. Those injuries give you a bad taste.”
Written by Steve Milne