Thursday 26 April 2018

Title party no excuse for our poor show - Martinez

Everton manager Roberto Martinez. Photo: Carl Recine/Reuters
Everton manager Roberto Martinez. Photo: Carl Recine/Reuters

Mark Ogden

Beleaguered Everton manager Roberto Martinez raged at his side's struggles in handling the carnival atmosphere in Leicester before making yet another inglorious retreat back to Goodison Park.

In sharp contrast with Claudio Ranieri, the Spaniard is expected to be relieved of his duties in the summer after another year of stagnation, which saw pre-season aspirations of qualifying for European football well and truly flounder,

Kevin Mirallas's 88th-minute curler proved only a consolation on another torrid afternoon for Martinez's side.

"I think first and foremost it is just a day for Leicester City and to celebrate them," said Martinez.

"From our point of view, it was a very, very disappointing day. We never turned up, we never understood what was needed.

"I think we felt that we were part of a celebration - it was a footballing occasion that you could just concentrate on what you were doing on the ball.

"We looked like a group of individuals. We never showed the basics that you need in any performance."

Everton's under-fire manager (below) said there were no positives to take from a match that ratchets up the pressure on the Spaniard.

"If you come to any ground in the Premier League, especially the champions, you have to do the basics right.

"You have to start performances with a real concentration, a real focus, a real intensity and a real defensive awareness," he said.

"Clearly, none of those aspects were there in our performance.

"It was really, really hard to take in that respect. It was very much not the level that we expect.

"Of course, (the atmosphere) is a distraction that you have to cope with but in the same manner we have our own agenda.

"Our agenda was we won against Bournemouth and we wanted to build on that. We showed a lot of character and a lot of good things in that match but today clearly we didn't replicate that.

"The party atmosphere is not an excuse - we should have enough experience to deal with that.

"If anything it would be a young player that couldn't cope with the occasion but I thought the only player who can hold his head high today is Matthew Pennington.

"He put in a performance full of meaning and of desire."

(© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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