| 10.3°C Dublin

Martinez tasks Toffees to repeat Wigan cup success

Everton boss Roberto Martinez claims trying to choose between success in the Premier League and the FA Cup is about as futile for him as attempting to judge whether he prefers his mother or father.

Last season Martinez guided Wigan all the way in the FA Cup to victory in the final, but they were also relegated from the top flight.

His current side – fifth in the table at the moment – host Championship promotion-chasers QPR in the third round of the cup today.

And asked ahead of the game if winning the knock-out competition or securing a decent finish in the Premier League was more important to him, Martinez said: "I don't think you can choose – it's like asking who you prefer, mum or dad.

"It's such a difficult question because you want both in your life.

"While we are in the FA Cup we are going to give everything we have got.

"In the league so far we have been very, very good and we want to be even better in the second half of the season."

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert, whose team are 11th in the Premier League, has expressed his belief that the majority of top-flight managers would rather do without the distraction of the FA Cup, stressing "survival in the league is vital".


Martinez has some sympathy with that point of view, but he insists – despite Wigan's relegation last term – that a cup run is a good thing for a club overall.

Asked if he could understand Lambert's comments, Martinez said: "I can, because every manager knows what they have got and they are looking at their squads and they know the numbers they have.

"But what I have seen over the years is that having a good run in the cup is always positive."

With Martinez having indicated he will make changes for the clash with QPR, Everton striker Nikica Jelavic could make his first start since September, while it remains to be seen whether or not there will be involvement for defender Johnny Heitinga, who is seeking a move but turned down a transfer to West Ham this week.