Roberto Martinez looking forward to Sunday’s crunch clash against Arsenal which will have a huge bearing on fourth place
Liverpool might be challenging for the Premier League title this season but the blue half of Merseyside are thoroughly enjoying life under Roberto Martinez and fourth place would be an outstanding achievement if Everton manage to usurp the Gunners.
A 3-1 victory at Craven Cottage on Sunday moves the Toffees to within four points of their rivals with a game in hand and the two teams meet at Goodison Park on Sunday with Everton favourites to claim a victory which would have them breathing down the necks of Arsenal.
Like Liverpool, if Everton win all their remaining matches, then they will finish in fourth place or better, guaranteeing Champions League football and Roberto Martinez believes it’s something which is within their grasp.
“I think it will go down to the last day,” said the Spaniard. “Nobody will stop fighting. Every game in this League is down to small margins. With the amount of points that we have, we have a realistic chance to fight for that [top four] aim.
“We admire Arsenal and know how they’ve got in to the Champions League for the last 18 years, or whatever. That gives an understanding of what to do in these games. Arsenal looking over their shoulder is a great compliment for us, but we are looking over our shoulder as well.
“There may be more pressure on them, but they cope with that expectation. When you start the season, there are six football clubs with the budget to cope with that expectation. They need to be coping with that expectation.
“We always embrace the challenge. We really enjoy playing at Goodison. We’ve created an incredible relationship between fans and players. The fans have been patient, we feel supported and feel we’ve got a real advantage playing at home.
“We’ve got Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Crystal Palace at home, and they are as difficult as they can get. But even then we feel if we can be perfect in what we do, we can get maximum points.
“Every game in this League is down to small margins. With the amount of points we have that we have a realistic chance to fight for that [top four] aim.”
“The intensity of every game is important and it doesn’t matter if you are fighting to avoid relegation, win a title or finish in the top four – it’s the same. You need to gain momentum and find a real focus in the squad. I wouldn’t say [it would be a] ‘miracle’, but football miracles happen.”