Under-fire Martinez understands Everton scrutiny

Date published: Thursday 28th April 2016 11:04

Roberto Martinez: No worries about his squad

Roberto Martinez says he “completely understands” the prospect of the board discussing his future at Everton.

Last weekend’s dramatic FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United has left Everton with just a top-half Premier League finish to fight.

The Toffees entertain Bournemouth on Saturday without a win in seven games, while their home record this season has seen them lose eight times with only three teams losing more games on home soil this season.

Martinez, 42, who has so far denied he is under pressure, has faced increasingly-vocal opposition from some of the club’s supporters in recent weeks with banners demanding he leave Goodison being displayed at several of the club’s games this month.

And a report in the Daily Mirror on Thursday claimed that Stoke boss Mark Hughes has been lined up as a potential successor to the Spaniard, while Manuel Pellegrini, Ronald Koeman and Frank de Boer were all linked with the job at the start of the week.

Asked about the prospect of a board meeting being called to discuss his future, Martinez said: “I understand it completely. I never felt being Everton manager is a manager to be judged in an average position.

“I encourage huge expectations. As a club, we have to drive for silverware and top four and when you aren’t there the scrutiny needs to be there.

“It shouldn’t be scrutiny of the last three months but instead the last three seasons. It’s a scrutiny of the squad we have put together and scrutiny of how we play against the top teams.”

Everton fans Roberto Martinez banner

Everton finished fifth in Martinez’s first season before slipping to 11th last year and they sit in 11th spot with four games to go this season and with little prospect of climbing as Stoke are six points ahead in 10th place.

Martinez though found renewed encouragement in his side’s second-half performance at Wembley against United and claimed the backing of the fans made a difference.

“The support we had at Wembley was one of the best I’ve seen at a football ground,” Martinez added.

“We fed off that. We played without the handbrake on in the second half.

“That’s what we’ve been building over three years. To go to Wembley and go eye-to-eye with a team who challenges for silverware.

“The message is we are all hurting together. I understand their passion and they make us what we are as a club. Football without passion makes no sense.

“But I’d say to those fans only when you get through those difficult experiences and moments do you get a renewed drive to fight.”

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