Roberto Martinez says that there is no chance of him resting players for tonight’s Europa League clash with Dynamo Kiev, especially with a Champions League spot to go for.
The first leg of the Europa League last 16 clash comes after 5 wins in 8 European matches for Everton, a sharp contrast to the 6 wins in all 31 domestic matches (league and cup).
Martinez acknowledges the blues are in a relegation fight, with only 6 points separating them from the bottom 3 and the following match a relegation cruncher away at QPR.
However, with the Europa League winners getting a Champions League place next season, winning the Europa League could be a massive game changer for whichever team picks up the trophy.
“You can’t underestimate the amount of work and effort that has gone into this competition at the club over the last 18 months. One competition shouldn’t get in the way of the other.
“When we built the squad at the start of the season it was with playing in Europe in mind. That hasn’t changed. We have a strong enough squad to face the two competitions.”
You don’t get this opportunity often…;
“We have to start winning straight away. In the final third of the season every point is vital.
“The position we are in is not good enough and I’m not hiding from it, but that is Sunday. We are the only English team left and there must be a reason for that. You don’t get this opportunity often.”
Everton player Steven Naismith also said that the players are well aware of the position they are in:
“Some players might think ‘It’s Everton, we won’t go down’ but we know it doesn’t work like that. We know we have to go out and perform. That is the goal from now until the end of the season.”
Needless to say, Martinez’ comments are a million miles away from Alan Pardew declaring how grateful he was Newcastle weren’t in Europe, the season after our Europa League participation.