After a great first half of the season, Everton have not been very consistent in the last few weeks. As a result, they have been slowly slipping down the table. The prospect of finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League, which seemed realistic during the months of January, has all but evaporated. Despite this, manager Roberto Martinez says that he is confident of getting the club back to European football. This could prove key in keeping a number of star players like Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku.
They have done exceedingly well this campaign and were the reason for the good work done by the blues so far. However, these players have Champions League ambitions and are unlikely to stay at Everton if it is not offered. Martinez is looking to overcome this Catch-22 situation by doing well over the next two months of league football. After being knocked out of the FA Cup by Arsenal last weekend, Everton can fully focus on the league. Even though they suffered a 4-1 defeat at Arsenal, Martinez says that the club can take a lot of positives from recent performances.
Everton have slipped nine points behind the final top four places with only 11 matches remaining in the campaign.
“All we want is to try and get as many as we can. And can you get top four? Well mathematically you can. I think you’re looking at the points tally that you’re going to need to get in those positions and it’s still achievable. It would depend as well on how the other clubs react to the disappointment of not being involved in Europe, other clubs that are still in Europe. I think there are many aspects that are going to affect top four position,” said Martinez ahead of the weekend’s match against Cardiff City.