No distractions for Martinez

Roberto Martinez is focusing on Everton's final 11 games rather than talking about the World Cup or players' contracts.

Last Updated: 13/03/14 at 14:25 Post Comment

Roberto Martinez: Not interested in players' contracts

Roberto Martinez: Not interested in players' contracts

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has urged his squad to focus on their final 11 matches as he is not interested in talking about the World Cup or players' contracts.

After Saturday's disappointing FA Cup quarter-final exit at Arsenal, the season has been reduced to fighting for sixth place to secure a Europa League spot, although Martinez has not given up hope of sneaking into the Barclays Premier League's top four.

But the players have been left under no illusions they will not be allowed to let things drift.

"All that matters now is to stop talking about issues which are not about the next 11 games," Martinez said.

"All the individual issues, contract situations, what is going to happen, the World Cup influence - that is something we are not interested in."

Captain Phil Jagielka is on the verge of a return from two matches out with a hamstring injury but Martinez said the fact the 31-year-old was England first-choice centre-back for the World Cup would have no bearing on his handling of the defender.

He also warned other players who may be thinking of Brazil they cannot afford to allow their levels to drop.

"Phil is recovering well and we will make a really late decision on him to make sure he is fully fit for the remainder of the season," the Spaniard said.

"International commitments will be well looked after when the season ends so at this stage the World Cup does not come into any reckoning in terms of decisions.

"What is really matters is the last 33 points you play for so all the decisions are based on that.

"What you learn in football is the moment you want to protect yourself you lose your place in the team and that is going to affect the national team.

"It is straightforward. You need to focus on the games in front of you and finish in good form.

"There is still a good period until the World Cup starts and as a player it is just about narrowing the aims in front of you.

"The moment you start thinking a little bit further forward football can be cruel in that respect and you can end up with a negative aspect in your performance which is the last thing you want before a major tournament."

Martinez hopes by keeping his players honest they can salvage some success out of a season which began with high ambitions but is in danger of petering out.

"We are still disappointed at leaving the FA Cup but in terms of the league this is a new part of the competition," he said.

"Forty-eight points at this stage is a good return. Mathematically we can get top four. The points tally needed is still achievable.

"It depends on how other sides react to the disappointment of not being in Europe; other teams are still in Europe and there are many aspects which will affect the final points tally needed to be in the top four.

"Europa League qualification is another important aim to fight for. It would be very easy for us to say we don't want to qualify for Europe and just let the season cruise through but that is not the case at all.

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

A Europa League campaign is often seen as disruptive but Martinez, who missed out on making his European league debut after leaving FA Cup winners Wigan for Goodison Park in the summer, does not see it that way.

"Clearly getting into Europe is a big objective and all you need to do is plan at the beginning of the season as it brings extra demands," he added.

"The squad is not a big secret. When you are involved in Europe you need a bigger squad but that is something we will look at in the summer.

"But if you are asking me if we can get into Europe the answer is we will fight with everything to try to achieve that."


New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up to £30


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

suspect the review will conclude that Iago Aspas should never have been loaned out. Two hat-tricks in two Copa Del Rey games. One might say he has really turned a corner.

GVMUFC
'Liverpool in transfer review'

P

oise, power and (I noticed in his post match interview) freakishly large hands. You know what they say about men with big hands.......... big gloves.

disGUSting
Poise And Power: Barkley's Unique Blend

S

itting next to him in the studio will surely be the closest Jamie Carragher ever got to Thierry...

bungle1976
Henry retires and joins Sky

Footer 365

Raheem Sterling can play as a striker, says Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says Raheem Sterling has the qualities needed to play as a striker on a regular basis.

Capital One Cup: Tottenham thump Newcastle 4-0 to reach the semi-finals

Tottenham thrashed Newcastle United 4-0 at White Hart Lane to reach the Capital One Cup semi-finals.

Premier League: Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge to be treated by Boston Red Sox staff

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge is set to spend Christmas in Boston as he continues to receive treatment on a thigh injury.

Mail Box

Pulis To Liverpool Might Just Work

One Mailboxer believes that Tony Pulis managing Liverpool isn't as silly as you might think. Plus Bournemouth aren't that romantic and we're all guilty of ignoring Everton...

It's Not As Simple As Losing Luis Suarez...

That's the view of Liverpool fans in the mailbox as the Reds continue to struggle without their talisman. Suarez isn't doing particularly well at Barca either, it should be said...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property