Martinez: There is no pressure on us

, 15 April, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent

Martinez was concerned with how Kenwright's revelation of his "Champions League" promise would go down with the players
Roberto Martinez has admitted for the first time that he was taken off guard on the day of his hiring by Bill Kenwright revealing his promise to take Everton into the Champions League.

Having secured the Blues' highest ever Premier League points tally with five games to spare, however, the 40 year-old is on course to fulfil in his first season in charge a proclamation that was intended more as a long-term goal.

His team can reclaim fourth place from Arsenal with victory over Crystal Palace at Goodison Park tomorrow and they know that a place in the top four is theirs if they can win their last four matches.

Despite the tantalising proximity of that Champions League dream and Kenwright's premature admission of his ultimate goal for the Blues, Martinez insists that his players have nothing to lose and everything to gain as they battle the Gunners for fourth place .

"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, "Martinez said in The Guardian. "We should be challenging for Champions League.

"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... I didn't say anything at the time because I have great respect for the chairman. When you meet him you realise his life is Everton and he has a genuine love for the football club.

"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.

"That's where you get leaders," Martinez continued, "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."

Though perhaps due to his theatrical roots he may have jumped the gun a little at that press conference last June, it wasn't until around December that Kenwright started to believe his new manager might actually be capable of delivering a top-four finish right off the bat.

"He has reminded me about it as the season has gone on because at the beginning he didn't believe it was possible," Martinez explained. "I would say it was three or four months into the season before he started to believe. It was the week we beat United and played so well at the Emirates, and then he said: 'Maybe I can see what you were saying.'"

"There is no pressure on us," the Spaniard concluded. "We have nothing to lose. I think the pressure comes when you have something to lose. We are in a position where we have everything to gain.

"If you had said Everton would be fourth in the table with five games to go at the beginning of the season, I don't think many people would have believed that. We are just enjoying the position, enjoying the challenge, and we want to finish as strong as we can."

Quotes sourced from The Guardian

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