Everton can still finish in top four, says Roberto Martinez
Everton are still in the hunt for a top-four finish and the players know what is required if they are to surge up the Premier League table, manager Roberto Martinez said on Tuesday.
London: Everton are still in the hunt for a top-four finish and the players know what is required if they are to surge up the Premier League table, manager Roberto Martinez said on Tuesday.
Everton suffered their first defeat in six matches when they lost 2-1 to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday and have slipped down to 10th in the table with 13 points from 17 matches.
Having finished fifth after an impressive first season under Martinez, Everton trail fourth-placed Manchester United by five points.
"What`s realistic is to compete in every game we go into," Martinez told a news conference ahead of his side`s match against Hull City at Goodison Park on Wednesday.
"It`s just about making sure we keep managing games well. The league is a third through now and internally we can have a clear direction of where we need to improve and what we`ve done really well.
"What we`ve done in Europe is remarkable, to qualify with one game spare, so it`s been a really strong start to the campaign and I am very pleased with what we`ve achieved."
Everton will be without midfielder Darron Gibson for the visit of 17th-placed Hull, but forward Steven Naismith has an "outside chance" of being fit.
James McCarthy is also out with a hamstring problem and Martinez said it was important they find a long-term solution to the midfielder`s injury troubles.
"We need to get to the bottom of the problem because it has been a recurrence," he said.
"It is not a major problem but the amount of games and minutes as a team and a club we have had to face is responsible.
"We have to find the perfect formula for him to have the perfect training schedule."
Hull, who have 11 points from 13 games, slipped to their fourth successive defeat in a 3-0 drubbing by Manchester United on Saturday, but Martinez will be taking nothing for granted against Steve Bruce`s side.
"I think you need to look through the score lines," the Spaniard said. "The game against Spurs they were very unlucky, they got a very good draw at Anfield.
"This is a side that know how to go away from home, defend well and have real quality up front."