Martinez: We are quite happy to want to win the league!!!
Everton manager Roberto Martinez was full of beans yesterday at his news conference and joked to reporters that it looks like no one wants to win the league, referring to the mind games of Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini.
Martinez knows that Everton won’t win it in his first season, but that doesn’t stop a desire from finishing the season as strongly as possible and he believes with an ultra-competitive league this season that almost anything is possible, even the Champions League places.
“Obviously it seems no one wants to win the league,”
“No one wants to come out and say they want to win the league – we are quite happy to want to win the league!”
“At this stage of the season we’ve got a very good platform going into the final third,” he says.
“What concerns me is how many points out of the 39 we can take.
“It goes down to your own points tally. I’ve never been a believer in looking at other clubs in the table. There are 13 games left, some teams have seven at home others have six at home. Those margins are very important.
“That’s all that matters. If we were third or second with the same points tally it doesn’t change the focus we have internally – to keep putting points on the table.
“When it comes to May you look back and if we have between 70 and 80 points we have a chance of being up there in the league.”
“The league gives you that,” he says. “The competitive edge of the league gives you the chance to make ground on other teams. It’s such an exciting league when everyone can take points from everyone else, and anyone can get at you if you’re not at your best.
“We saw two years ago when the team (City) that ended up winning the title had a deficit of eight points to make up in a very short period of time.
“That’s why everything is still open and there are clubs fighting internally to get he best levels of performance.”
On tonights opposition Crystal Palace, Martinez believes that his side face a very tough challenge and points to two signings they made that have given them a bit of quality.
“It is hard,” he says. “They are in a great moment of form and have been able to bring in players of the quality of Joe Ledley and Tom Ince and they had an impact straight away.
“That gives a feelgood factor and we know Tony has a real understanding of this league and how to win football games.
“They will be completely different from Spurs but this season it’s pleased me how we’ve been able to adapt well.
“When we’ve had to break teams down we’ve done that with real style and quality, and when we’ve had to defend well and play eye to eye with any team we’ve done that two.”
How do you think we will fare against Crystal Palace tonight? Have your say in our match thread: http://www.theevertonforum.co.uk/everton-forum/11139-everton-v-crystal-palace-weds-12-2-19-45-a.html