Everton manager confident of fourth place in the Premier League
Toffees looking to leapfrog Arsenal this evening when they face Crystal Palace at Goodison Park
April 16th, 2014
The Gunners went back to fourth in the Premier League table on Tuesday night after a 3-1 win over West Ham United and it’s over to Everton to see what they can do against the Eagles.
Roberto Martinez will be preparing his team for a tough encounter against an in-form Palace side, although Everton have been flying themselves in recent weeks and they are in control of their own destiny when it comes to claiming a Champions League spot.
Martinez has delivered Everton’s biggest points total of the Premier League era during his first season in charge, with a mix of loan players, young talent and experienced heads helping them to achieve great things.
“It has always been my vision that Everton would fight for Champions League football because of the history, the heritage and everything we have as a football club. We should be challenging for Champions League,” said Martínez. “I think at the press conference it was a little bit too early to say we would be challenging because I hadn’t even told my players about the vision, so I was sat there thinking ‘I don’t know how the players are going to react to this.’
“I expected to be the one to slowly unfold the plans, not just give it on the first day, and my worry was how the group would react. You have a new manager who walks in and says we’re going to get into the Champions League, even though that has to be our aim long term. You always have to be driven by a vision at Everton, there are no excuses in football and you have to have that drive. He said it a little bit too early – it would have helped if he’d allowed me to say it to the players first.
“I think the reaction from the players would have been mixed. Some would say ‘is that real?’, others ‘I don’t mind that’, and others would say ‘we are ready for it’. That’s where you get leaders and I think the leaders, the senior players, have been terrific in their reaction. Don’t forget, we are on new ground, there are no two ways about it.”