''The intensity is the same,'' says Martinez

, 11 April, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
Having steered Swansea City through two promotion campaigns and battled, successfully until last season, to keep Wigan Athletic in the Premier League, Roberto Martinez is no stranger to high-pressure end-of-season run-ins.

The boss is now in the thick of another quest to wring the maximum amount of points from the finish to a league campaign as Everton look to overhaul Arsenal in the race for fourth place but the Catalan sees no difference in the intensity needed for the final run-in, whether you are chasing Champions League places or facing a battle for survival in the Premier League.

"I think it is exactly the same, if I am completely honest," he said in The Independent. "It is being able to focus on the game itself, understanding the intensity and the focus you need in every action.

"In every season, whatever you are playing for, it comes down to the final points you are playing for: whether it is for staying in the league, making the top four or winning the title it is exactly the same."

Martinez's CV boasts a similar kind of finish required of Everton this season from his time at Wigan where he steered the Latics to an improbable escape over the last quarter of the campaign.

"Looking back at other seasons with Wigan, we managed to get seven wins out of the last nine and that is the same intensity you need to have in any aim you are fighting for," he continued.

"It is important that intensity and focus is there without getting affected in a negative way through the emotions of what the significance is of achieving or not achieving that aim.

"I've seen it first hand. You can use those emotions in the right way and use them to your advantage."

Displaying more of the infectious optimistic bent that has characterised his first season in charge at Goodison, Martinez went on to say: "You get through the hurt of seeing you could lose your place in the division — that is difficult, but then you accept that you have an opportunity to achieve your aim of staying up and that is a significant moment.

"Those emotions affect the way the team plays, and Sunderland have seven games — more than any other team in that area — and it is still very much in their hands.

"The perception from the outside probably changed last Sunday (after beating Arsenal) that mathematically we have a great opportunity with six games to go, but internally nothing has changed.

"We set our targets clearly in the final third of the season and we are in the same mindset because we are in a position where we are fighting for our own aim.

"When you get into this sort of fight against a team like Arsenal, who season after season have known how to perform under massive expectation, I don't think you can pile pressure on a team like that.

"Favourites or not, they are in that 4th position at the moment and we aspire to get as many points as we can, but it is not a moment to look at the table.

"We are very much at the peak of our season and we will enjoy every game ahead of us."

Quotes sourced from The Independent

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