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Monday 26 September 2016

Martinez calm as pressure grows

Roberto Martinez Photo: PA
Roberto Martinez Photo: PA

Roberto Martinez insists he has faced more difficult times as a manager as he prepares for an FA Cup semi-final labelled make or break for his tenure at Everton.

The growing anger among Toffees fans at the club's form reached a peak on Wednesday as Everton were trounced 4-0 by Liverpool in the Merseyside derby.

With their hopes of achieving anything significant in the league long since gone, the season now rests on the FA Cup and this evening's semi-final against Manchester United at Wembley.

There is speculation defeat could bring the axe down on Martinez after nearly three years at Goodison Park.

The Spaniard's career took an upward trajectory through spells at Swansea and Wigan, with the Latics' relegation more than balanced out by a spectacular FA Cup triumph in 2013.

That earned Martinez his chance at Everton but after a brilliant first season things have turned sour, and he faces being sacked for the first time.

Asked if these were the toughest moments of his career, Martinez replied: "I wouldn't say that. I think when you are in situations a bit more extreme (it's harder).

"Here of course we are carrying hurt but we're facing the opportunity of achieving something. It's the third time in 20 years that we're going to be in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

"I'm a positive person by nature and I can see this is an opportunity rather than something to lose."

He addedd: "I wouldn't be professional if I would be using my time on talking about what people think and what the feeling is around the manager."

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