Roberto Martinez says he and his side share the supporters’ pain at seeing Everton under-deliver this season as they prepare for Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea.
Despite having an impressive squad at his disposal, Martinez has only overseen nine Premier League wins from 28 matches, leaving his team down in 12th.
There was further cause for frustration on Saturday as the Toffees let a 2-0 lead slip in a 3-2 loss to West Ham, with Chelsea up next at Goodison Park.
Martinez does not see the game as “make-or-break” and wants his squad to relish the occasion, though he did accept the hurt being felt by fans.
“When you see the work of the players and then you don’t get the rewards you deserve, it is painful,” he said.
“[It is] a pain we share with all the fans. The frustration is there. I think we were all in the same boat [after the West Ham game].
“We have seen outstanding signs this season and that is why it is so frustrating to see in games where we are winning, we throw it away.
“That is why it is so important for us to look forward to this quarter-final and the rest of the season.
“I just feel this is where we really need to take all the pain and experiences we had this campaign in a good way and get the rewards our performances have deserved.
“I don’t see it as a make-or-break. I see it as the type of game we want to be involved in.
“We have the advantage of playing it at Goodison and we could achieve something really special. After what we had to go through this week, it is the type of game we want to use to our advantage.”
Everton have fared well in this season’s top-flight fixtures against the champions, winning 3-1 at home in September and securing a 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge in January.
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