Roberto Martinez understands the scrutiny surrounding his position as Everton manager but wants to be judged for his work over three seasons and not the past few months.
Martinez has overseen a disappointing campaign at Goodison Park, with Everton 11th in the Premier League having gone their last seven league games without a win.
Everton finished fifth in Martinez’s first season in charge before ending up 11th last term, although they did reach the last 16 of the Europa League.
Having lost to Manchester City in the League Cup semi-finals earlier this campaign, Everton suffered a last-gasp 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in the last four of the FA Cup at Wembley last Saturday.
That loss did not help Martinez’s cause and, asked about the speculation over his future in his pre-match media conference ahead of the visit of AFC Bournemouth, the Spaniard said: “I understand it completely because I never felt being Everton manager is a manager to be judged by being in an average position.
“I always encourage huge expectations and I think as a football club we have to drive to challenge for silverware, we have to drive to get into the top four positions so, when you’re not in those positions, the scrutiny has to be there.
“There shouldn’t be any scrutiny over the last two months or three months, it should be scrutiny over the three seasons, it should be about taking a squad and the team that we’ve put together and the team that we’ve developed since I’ve been at the football club and the type of performance that we had in the second half [against United], a team that can perform against anyone with a very clear idea of how to play and how to be successful.
“That’s scrutiny I welcome and I accept. I wouldn’t want to be judged on being the manager of the ninth budget of the league, I want to be under the scrutiny of being very proud of being the Everton manager, Everton is a huge football club and I expect to be challenging with silverware and being in the top positions.”
Pressed on what he would say to those fans reportedly planning protests this weekend, Martinez replied: “The message is that we’re all hurting together, I understand their passion and they [the fans] make us what we are.
“Football without passion makes no sense. I would say to those fans that it is only when you get through these difficult experiences and painful moments that you get a renewed drive. I’m ready to fight more than ever and probably closer to finding the way of challenging for silverware.”
Martinez was also asked for his reaction to the news earlier this week that an inquest had ruled the 96 Liverpool fans who perished in the Hillsborough disaster were unlawfully killed.
He said: “It was incredible boost to the city and humanity in general. The Hillsborough Family Support Group showed us all the way how to fight in life and persevere in that incredible battle, finding the truth, finding fairness and finding justice.
“We’re extremely proud of them and what they achieved for the city has been magnificent. We hope they can have a little bit of closure and everyone can feel a little bit of peace of that incredible tragedy that has been holding on for 27 years until the truth came out.”
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