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Martinez: We'll wait until the final third to set aim

Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes it is too early to determine if his guarantee of bringing Champions League football to Goodison Park can come to fruition this season.

It was back in June at Martinez's unveiling when Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright revealed how the interviewee won him over with a bold proclamation to elevate the club into Europe's premier cup competition.

That was a feat Martinez's predecessor David Moyes managed just once, in 2005, a controversial two-legged defeat to Villarreal.

But, with the landmark of 20 Premier League fixtures completed, the Toffees lie one point and one place outside of the much-coveted top four and supporters are beginning to dream of Martinez's promise becoming a reality in just his first season.

There is no specific target in mind for the manager at this stage.

"You always wait until the final third of the season to set the final aim," he said.

"We started well and I feel we have a really good squad of players with terrific talent and a great mentality and we had a good start. But, to talk about aims in the league, you need to wait until you get in to the final nine, 10 games then, depending on the points tally, you can dream of one aim or another.

FIGHT

"We're in a good place but all we need to do now over the next nine (home) games is to get as many points as we can and that will give us the opportunity to fight for one aim or another."

One Everton player on his way from Goodison Park is Nikica Jelavic as Hull have reached an agreement with the Toffees on a fee for the striker.

Both clubs confirmed the news on their Twitter accounts last night, with Hull set to open talks with the Croatian in the coming days.

Steve Bruce has been seeking to add firepower to his team in January but on Thursday apologised to both West Brom and Sunderland for reports linking the Tigers with moves for Shane Long and Steven Fletcher respectively. But a little over 24 hours later Everton were given Hull permission to discuss personal terms with the out-of-favour Jelavic.


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