Friday 24 January 2020

Roberto Martinez defiant in face of fan unrest

Roberto Martinez said he will give his life to help Everton return to winning ways
Roberto Martinez said he will give his life to help Everton return to winning ways

Under-fire Roberto Martinez insists he will "give his life" to help Everton return to winning ways as discontent among the club's fans shows few signs of abating.

Everton supporters jeered their team at the final whistle following a 1-1 draw at Watford on Saturday, while a 'Martinez Out' banner was also unfurled in the visiting section prior to kick-off.

Although Everton will face either Manchester United or West Ham for a place in the FA Cup final later this month, their indifferent league form has seen Martinez come under increasing pressure from the Goodison Park faithful.

"Since day one, I am extremely proud and honoured to be the manager at Everton and I accept that the fans are not going to be happy with the team losing," said Martinez, whose side headed into Saturday's fixture at Vicarage Road following three successive league defeats.

"What is important is that the fans always support the team and they help us to win football games, and that is the only thing that matters.

"They know that I will give my life to achieve a winning team, and everything we do is to make them proud so I have no problems with their discontent.

"Football is an emotional game. I would not expect anyone to be happy with poor standards, and losing three games in the league, in my eyes, is very, very poor standards."

The visiting fans also gave their backing to Leighton Baines after the long-serving Everton defender was forced to apologise to Martinez following comments he made in the wake of their 1-0 defeat at Manchester United.

Martinez was riled by Baines' remarks in which he claimed the Toffees have been lacking chemistry, but the Everton supporters sided with the left-back by displaying another banner which read 'Baines is one of us' ahead of Saturday's game.

"I thought Leighton performed extremely well," said Martinez, who claimed to have not seen either banner.

"As a manager, I am here to make sure that the team has a clear direction on how to play, and we need to develop a winning team.

"Leighton, like all of us, we are disappointed that we haven't been able to win football games and that's disappointment that needs to be changed by performing well and winning games.

"I thought Leighton did not put a foot wrong, his performance was outstanding, and that is what we all want."

Everton, 14th in the Barclays Premier League, will travel to Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

Martinez, who is likely to be without Phil Jagielka after the defender suffered a hamstring injury against Watford, continued: "I will never have a bad word about fans because of the way they support the team, and they supported me from the first day is outstanding.

"I think we are expected to go anywhere in this league and produce performances and try to win every single game. I have got no worry about that."

PA Media

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