Martinez: Europa League qualification will allow Everton to grow as a club
[quote]Clearly, getting into Europe is a big, big objective and something that would allow us to grow as a football club.[/quote]
Speaking at Thursday’s pre-Cardiff press conference, Everton boss Roberto Martinez has made it clear Europa League qualification would not be a hindrance to the club’s plans for next season.
Martinez is well aware of the demands European football puts on competing teams and with his squad being one of the smallest in the Premier League, those pressures would only be magnified.
Despite this, the Spaniard feels playing in Europe is a vital element of Everton’s development under his stewardship:
“It would be very easy for us to say we don’t want to qualify for the Europa League,” said Martinez.
“Qualifying for Europe would be a massive step forward for us, it would bring big footballing occasions that I feel we need to able to develop into the type of team we want to be.
“Clearly, getting into Europe is a big, big objective and something that would allow us to grow as a football club.”
If the Blues can manage to secure European football for the first time since the 2009/10 season, Martinez has once again let it be known his summer transfer policy will be changed accordingly to cope with the demands the extra games would bring:
“What you need to do is plan the campaign at the beginning of the season, bearing in mind you are going to be playing in Europe and the extra demands that brings.”
“The answer is very clear; if you’re asking me can we get into Europe, well the answer is we are going to fight with everything we have to try to achieve that.”
Due to the amount of extra games the Europa League brings, the competition has gained a reputation of being something of a millstone. And when club’s such as Tottenham, whose squad dwarfs that of Martinez’s Everton, regularly cite the Europa League for below average league performances, the Toffees boss knows his summer transfer plans would have to be tweaked accordingly:
“It is not a big secret; when you are involved in Europe the demands are big and you need a bigger squad. But that is something we will have to look in to this summer if we can achieve that aim.”
“What matters now is the next nine weeks and to stop talking about the issues that are nothing to do with the next eleven games. The only thing that matters is all the work we’ve been doing on a daily basis and the standards of the players which has been phenomenal.
“All the individual issues, contract situations, what’s going to happen with the World Cup influence – is something we are currently not interested in.”
“We have to make sure that together with the fans we are a strong football club and as a club we can finish as strongly as possible in these last eleven games.”