European spot key for Everton

Roberto Martinez says European qualification this season remains an important part of his long-term plan for Everton.

Last Updated: 13/03/14 at 17:29 Post Comment

The chances of a top-four finish have diminished in recent weeks, and Martinez's side are now nine points off the Champions League places with 11 games to play.

But Manchester City's League Cup win means there are likely to be two Europa League spots available through Premier League placings, and Martinez would not pass up the chance to compete in a tournament whose Thursday scheduling has been criticised by some managers.

"Getting into Europe is a big objective and something that would allow us to grow as a football club," Martinez said.

"Qualifying for Europe for us would be a massive step forward because it would bring massive football occasions that I do feel we need to be able to develop into the type of team we want to be.

"We have 48 points and that is a good return. Can we get top four? Mathematically, we can. You look at the points tally you might need to get in those positions and that is still achievable.

"Then after that you've got the Europa League qualification which is another important aim to fight for.

"It would be easy for us to say that we don't want to qualify for Europe and just let the season cruise through. That's not the case at all."

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till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

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would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

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ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

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