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Everton appoint Roberto Martinez

Roberto Martinez is confident he can retain Everton's in-demand stars after being appointed Toffees manager.

Last Updated: 05/06/13 at 19:54 Post Comment

New Everton manager Roberto Martinez is confident he can retain the club's in-demand stars so they can help him fulfil his Champions League dream.

The Spaniard, who has signed a four-year contract, believes there should be a place for the Toffees among Europe's elite.

And while chairman Bill Kenwright raised the stakes minutes into the 39-year-old's presentation as David Moyes' successor by claiming Martinez had pledged to get them into the top four, the reality from the new Blues boss was slightly more pragmatic.

He sees it as a long-term vision to which the club need to aspire but he knows his best chance of doing that is holding on to the likes of midfielder Marouane Fellaini - who has a £24million release clause and has been widely tipped to leave this summer - and England left-back Leighton Baines, who has been linked with a reunion with former manager Moyes at Manchester United.

"I can't wait to speak with the players and get to work with them because I feel really excited working with these players," Martinez said.

"It is not persuading anyone. In the game when you are successful - and Everton were clearly successful last season - you will always get good performers who attract interest from other clubs.

"That not only happens here it happens at every football club in the land and abroad so we're not worried about that.

"What we want is the players that are here feel really appreciated and important for the next project and that is all I am focused on.

"If we get players who can move on that is normal in the game but clearly we need to invest and bring players in which will allow us to start next season with a stronger side than ended the campaign and that is always the aim in any club."

Kenwright has already promised to back his new manager as best he can financially this summer

"I'll give him a few quid to spend. The others are not for sale. We don't want them to go, they have worked massively hard for this club," he said..

"Roberto doesn't want them to go, he has all their numbers and he will be on the phone asking them not to go.

"Not one person has even half-indicated they want to go.

"I am confident that squad, plus some Roberto signings, will form this club's squad for next season."

That squad, according to Martinez, should be aiming to bridge the gap from their sixth-placed finish this season to Champions League qualification.

He does not expect them to make that leap instantaneously - or even in the next couple of years.

But he does want them to aspire to it.

"It is a bit more of a long-term ambition of the club," said the Spaniard, who left Wigan after winning the FA Cup but seeing the club relegated after eight seasons in the top flight.

"Everton has an incredible history and tradition and the work David Moyes has done has laid a platform where, in the next few years, we should be dreaming of getting to the Champions League.

"There are six clubs (both Manchester sides, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool) who are working at a different finance level to the others but I believe with our tools and our genetic make-up in the club we can find a way to compete with those teams.

"That has to be the aim for the future. It doesn't mean next season, in two seasons' time - it has to be the dream of every Evertonian.

"Where we are now is making sure we are really strong and carry on the work David Moyes did over the last 11 years, making sure we don't drop those standards.

"I am not saying it is a realistic target, that has to be the dream.

"In any club you need to be moved by an ambition and in football if you don't have dreams you will never achieve anything.

"It is important we set that clearly without expecting that to be a target straightaway.

"What Everton achieved last season was incredible, they had no right to finish top six and for them to break into that top six speaks incredibly of the job David Moyes did."

Kenwright said he was pleased to get his man after a long search to replace Moyes.

"It was exactly four weeks ago today that David told me he wanted to become the new manager of Manchester United, and in that time the club has continued on a long and exhaustive journey to find the right man to take this club forward," he said.

"During the four weeks I have met some of the finest individuals you could meet in football, and the finest of them is sitting next to me know.

"It is a great relief, joy and seriously exciting for me that Roberto Martinez has agreed to be the next manager of Everton.

"To Evertonians, I say if you had been at the meetings and conversations I have had with your new manger, you will be as thrilled, excited and in awe as I have been."

Kenwright, who revealed he went to last month's FA Cup final to assess Martinez, was instantly impressed by the Spaniard.

"I'm not going to say to you it was like David Moyes, who got me in 30 seconds, he took at least 45 seconds," he added.

"He showed me how he beat Manchester City at Wembley. I'd gone there to look at Roberto.

"He understands the game and he understands Everton. When you know, you know.

"We did discuss at the first meeting we didn't want the standards and position David had achieved to slip: we wanted to build from that and that is the only statement we made.

"I have to play my part in it too. I don't want to be the man who asks him to come here and get Champions League unless I can support you.

"Myself and the board will be doing all we can to support Roberto."

Everton chief executive Robert Elstone was also delighted with the appointment.

"We have a top manager, we have an 'Everton' manager - which was important to us but I am also excited to give Roberto the support for what he needs to achieve," he said.

"Our objectives are all about what happens on the field. It is all directed towards Roberto."

Martinez has been linked with moves for some of his former players like midfielder James McCarthy and forwards Arouna Kone and ex-Toffees youth team prospect Callum McManaman.

"There is always a normal assumption that when a manager moves on he will bring those players along," said the new Toffees boss.

"It would be a big mistake to look at the manager's previous team.

"We have to look at the whole range, world football is a big market."


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