Soccer

Friday 25 July 2014

Martinez comments on Magath mission

Published 29/03/2014|13:37

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Roberto Martinez is refusing to take Fulham lightly

Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes Fulham counterpart Felix Magath's task of avoiding relegation was actually made easier by the lack of time he was given to save the club.

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The German, the Cottagers' third boss this season, took over in mid-February after a chaotic period which saw Rene Meulensteen's spell in charge ended after just two months.

In his five matches he has picked up just four points and they remain bottom of the table four points from safety.

However, Martinez believes the small amount of time Magath had to stave off the drop could work in his favour.

"Felix Magath took a completely different challenge," said the Spaniard.

"It wasn't a change of manager just to see a different direction at the club, it was clear he was taking a football challenge of trying to get a big points average in a short period of time to try to stay in the Premier League.

"When you have 25 games to go in a season it becomes very difficult because there is so much talk about what could happen and what direction you can go.

"Everyone has an opinion and it can affect the team but when it is a short period of time it is very straightforward.

"It is a narrow approach and all you need to do is try to get as many points as you can and try to carry momentum from game to game.

"You don't even think about what may happen in the summer, what will happen to players' contracts.

"It is 10 or 11 finals that you try to prepare for in the best possible way and try to make difficult for the opposition.

"It is clear Felix Magath has the experience to provide a very difficult game in every game he puts his Fulham side out in.

"He is clear in the way he gets his teams set up and I think since he has been at Fulham they have been unfortunate in a couple of games and in the same manner he has been finding out a lot about his new players.

"I do feel this Fulham side is a completely different one to the one that came to Goodison Park."

Everton are at the other end of the table looking to snatch the last Champions League place from Arsenal.

Martinez has been working with a small squad all season and has kept a relatively stable starting line-up in recent weeks but has brought in youngsters like Tyias Browning and Luke Garbutt for some first-team experience.

If Everton qualify for Europe their squad will need significant investment but Martinez is keen to promote from within first if possible.

"I always felt when you are having to cope with the travelling (in Europe) you need to use different players, you do need a bigger squad and it could be between 26 and 28 outfield players," said the Toffees boss.

"It would be wrong for us to make decisions now as there have been many young players who have developed over the last 10 months.

"We have to make sure we send out a lot of youngsters on loan so we can judge them and I want to give every youngster an opportunity in pre-season so chances will go internally first.

"Details (of transfer targets) will be held back till May 11 as it is going to be significant over the next games in terms of determining the squad.

"The youngsters have worked with the first team long enough to be of help on the pitch and I am looking forward to seeing how they develop over the next couple of weeks.

"Underneath them there is another generation with a lot of talent and they will be important for the future.

"It is important we give our players a clear path to have an opportunity on the first team and Tyias and Luke are ready for first-team exposure."

Press Association

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