Roberto Martinez insists Everton are not underachieving, saying his side “can become a special team”.
The Toffees boss is coming under intense scrutiny after his side surrendered a first-leg lead to be knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Manchester City at the semi-final stage. Missing out on Wembley comes as Everton languish in 12th in the Premier League, following an 11th-place finish last term.
Ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup trip to Carlisle, Martinez hit back at criticism of his side’s lack of progress.
“We are not underachieving,” the Spaniard said. “We have never won the title.
“We are a really exciting group of players and have the best potential in a number of years.
“We need to go thorugh painful lessons to be able to develop a knowhow of a winning team. We’re making progress.”
“We need to use all the pain from Wednesday to become as good as we can for the rest of the season.
Martinez says he accepts the criticism he is currently receiving but the Spaniard says fans will be rewarded for their patience.
“That’s football. We need to accept we need to get wins,” he said.
“I will never make excuses. I’m extremely aware of the expectation. I just feel we are very close to getting what the fans deserve.
“I’ll accept criticism, but we can find a way to make them proud of our team.
“I’m very much looking forward to making them proud. We need the support of everyone at the football club.
” I know for a fact that, with a bit of time, this team can become a special team. We want to get into the top four and I think we are showing signs of competing with the top teams.
“Are we going to do it over night? One hundred per cent no. We are right in the middle of that process.
“I think this is a squad to be excited about. We are going to be resilient and make the fans proud.
“We are getting close to getting back to the glory years. But it won’t be easy or pain free.”