herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Martinez wants final flourish

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has warned his players against thinking the season is over with eight matches to go. Back-to-back league wins eased the growing spectre of a relegation battle and their nine-point cushion over 18th-placed Burnley means they are out of danger from that respect.

With European qualification effectively out of reach the Toffees have little left to aim for, but Martinez is keen for them to finish strongly in order to banish the feelings of failure this campaign.

"I think it would be a big mistake to start thinking about next season," he said.

"There are no distractions; the league position is everything that matters.

"It is quite straightforward - you need to get 40 points and that is the first target as a team and from that point you try to get as high in the table as you can. We are still in a position where we need to fight for those 40 points and nothing will change until we achieve that."

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