Kone, 31, struck three times at Goodison Park and also created a goal for Gerard Deulofeu as Martinez's side ended a three-game winless run and climbed into the top half of the Premier League table. Having sustained a serious knee cartilage injury shortly after signing from Wigan Athletic in 2013, Kone made only 12 league appearances last season, but Martinez applauded him for sticking to his guns.
It was a first hat-trick in English football for Kone, who played for Côte d'Ivoire at three CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™.
"It's my first hat-trick in the Premier League. Before I scored (one) in the Netherlands," Kone told Sky Sports. "It was a great performance by the team and we want to continue like that."
The heavy defeat snatched the wind from Sunderland's sails following their 3-0 win over derby rivals Newcastle United last weekend. The northeast club remain second from bottom, two points from safety, and manager Sam Allardyce acknowledged that they must tighten up at the back if they are to stand any chance of escaping the relegation zone.
"The defensive frailties were just too much in the side today and we allowed Everton to win the game comfortably in the end," he said. "If we don't sort those out, and we are going to give it away like we did when we get to 2-2 today, it will be a long haul over the next few months or so."