Everton are in a relegation battle, admits Martinez

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has admitted for the first time this season that his side are now embroiled in a battle to retain their Premier League status, the Guardian has reported.

The club’s initial aim for this season was to finish in the top four and qualify for the 2015-16 Champions League, after coming so close last term where they achieved their highest points tally since the inception of the Premier League in 1992.

However, they have been inconsistent throughout and as the result of a run which has seen them win just one out of 13 Premier League games, the Toffees now find themselves just four points clear of the bottom three going into Saturday’s game at Crystal Palace, who are only behind them on goal difference.

The Goodison Park crowd have shown their discontent in recent home matches, and Martinez, who has experience of battling the drop from his time in charge of Wigan Athletic, concedes that until Everton reach 40 points, they are in a relegation scrap.

“Until you get 40 points everyone is in a relegation battle,’ he said. “I’ve been long enough in this league to understand how difficult it is to get to 40 points. In the same way, I know what we are capable of doing. Last season showed our standard and that is what we are fighting for. We know what level we can reach.

“Are we in a negative run of results? Clearly. I don’t think anyone enjoys that but in the same way I’m looking at the way we performed against Manchester City at home, with 10 men for over an hour against West Ham and the way we performed against West Brom. We have 16 games to go and want to treat every one as a final.”

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