Under-fire Roberto Martinez faced further fan fury as his Everton side crashed to a humiliating 4-0 derby defeat at the hands of rivals Liverpool on Wednesday.
There was also controversy as Toffees defender Ramiro Funes Mori was sent off for a poor challenge on Liverpool goalscorer Divock Origi, who consequently left the field at Anfield on a stretcher.
Funes Mori will now be suspended for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United and Martinez also has numerous injury worries for a match that now seems critical to his hopes of keeping his job.
His side were completely outplayed by Liverpool, going down to goals from Origi, Mamadou Sakho, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho in a one-sided Barclays Premier League encounter.
Afterwards, Martinez could not hide from the bald facts of a miserable night.
The Spaniard, who has had to endure the sight of banners calling for his removal in recent weeks and was also taunted by Liverpool fans, said: “It was a horrible experience for everyone connected to the football club.
“It was a game that is probably turned with the two actions when we didn’t defend well enough in a period of three minutes before half-time. Clearly we lost concentration.
“We gave away a soft cushion of two goals. Just before half-time that becomes a massive blow. We tried to regroup but the first action is a red-card incident.
“From that point on the game becomes a non-event and it becomes a horrible, horrible experience, especially knowing the big game we have around the corner.
“Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. The whole chain of events was horrific and it is a showing we need to forget as quickly as we can.”
Martinez did not attempt to mount a strong defence of Funes Mori, accepting the Argentinian’s challenge could have warranted a red card.
He said: “He doesn’t try to hurt the player, it is a mistimed challenge. It could have been a yellow card, it could have been a red card. I can understand why the referee gave it. Ramiro probably got carried away with the emotion of the derby.”
As for his own position, Martinez was unwilling to answer questions at his post-match press conference.
“That is not my focus,” he said. “My focus is to make sure we prepare properly for the game on Saturday.”
Further compounding matters was the loss of midfielder Gareth Barry with a groin injury on the night he made a record-equalling 571st Premier League start. He is now doubtful for the weekend, joining Phil Jagielka and Seamus Coleman on the injury list. John Stones also left the field at Anfield with stomach cramps.
Martinez must now attempt to rally his side for the weekend trip to Wembley.
He said: “Nobody deserved to experience that. I don’t think any fans deserved it, any players – nobody representing Everton.
“But the reality is that’s football and we have to move on quickly and repay our fans with a proper performance and a proper showing in the FA Cup semi-final.”