Roberto Martinez has been talking about his team’s Boxing Day opposition.

The Everton boss describing the goings on at St James Park as ‘It always takes time to get a new project underway…’.

I think the fans have been waiting a bit longer that the last few months for ‘Project Newcastle United’ to get underway.

After only 10 points from the opening 42, followed by 7 from the last 9, Roberto Martinez describes Newcastle as being in ‘the best moment of their season’.

The Villa match was a poor result and performance against a team that Everton recorded a 4-0 win over earlier this season, but a win over the Toffees and 10 points from 12, would mean the restless natives of Tyneside would be reassured that little bit more.

Failure to beat Everton would once again leave Newcastle relying on other teams’ results to not drop once again into the relegation zone, a very dodgy strategy for survival.

Food for thought that as well as the possibility of falling into the bottom three, a win for Newcastle would see them only three points behind Everton in the table.

The stakes are a little higher than usual for Newcastle on this Boxing Day, whilst defeat for the visitors would almost certainly see them falling into the bottom half of the table.

Roberto Martinez speaking at his pre-Newcastle press conference:

“I think you have seen a completely different chapter in their (Newcastle’s) season.

“If you look at their last three games, they have taken seven points out the nine possible from very challenging fixtures.

“Their team is in a very good moment of form, so it shows how small the margins are in the league this season between victory and defeat.

“We are going to face a Newcastle side whose stats reflect that they are in the best moment of their season.

Newcastle took just 10 points from their opening 14 league fixtures of 2015/16.

“It always takes time to get a new project underway and Steve McLaren has got enough experience and know-how to see what is needed.”