Martinez backs side to win trophy


Published: Friday 7th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Everton boss Roberto Martinez indicated he believes his side can win the Europa League this season after they moved closer to the knockout rounds with a 3-0 victory over Lille on Thursday.

The triumph at Goodison Park – secured by goals from Leon Osman, Phil Jagielka and Steven Naismith – leaves the unbeaten Toffees top of Group H with eight points from four games in the pool and two more to go.

Everton have not claimed a trophy since the 1995 FA Cup, but in his programme notes for Thursday’s contest, skipper Jagielka said on the notion of the club possibly going all the way in this competition: “Well, why not?” And asked after the game whether he would play down such talk, Martinez said: “No – I think we are in a football club where we are expected to win things.

“I know it is a long time since we won a trophy. But European competition is in our DNA and we need to galvanise it.

“Obviously we are in November, and if you start talking about where you can get in competitions, you might look a little bit foolish.

“What we want to do is every game we go into, we want to win it. I think the squad is large enough and has enough quality. We want to be in the Europa League as long as we can be.”

Everton, who are playing in a continental competition for the first time in five seasons, are a point clear of second-placed Wolfsburg, while third-placed Lille have three points and FK Krasnodar in fourth have two.

Asked about how confident he was that the Toffees would claim a last-32 spot, the Spaniard said: “We are just taking things step by step.

“All we will do is keep trying to get as many points as we can and see where that takes us.”

He added as he praised the performance against Lille: “We showed an incredible maturity, playing in Europe – something it seems we have been doing for many seasons, when the reality is that it is a new experience for us.”

Martinez also revealed midfielder Gareth Barry had sustained an ankle knock and cut shin which make him a doubt for Sunday’s Barclays Premier League trip to Sunderland.

Lille boss Rene Girard had no doubt his side had been well and truly outplayed.

He said: “We were up against a much stronger rival tonight and could not match them in all areas of the game.

“I think Everton can go quite far in this competition.

“For us, it is not worth talking about qualification – it is out of our hands.”

Published: Friday 7th November 2014 by The News Editor

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