Roberto Martinez plays down early thoughts of FA Cup victory

Wednesday 17 Feb 2016
Everton boss Roberto Martinez instructs his team at Carlisle United

Everton boss Roberto Martinez claims his side don’t want to rely on winning The Emirates FA Cup to make this term a successful season.

The Toffees make the long journey south to play AFC Bournemouth in Saturday’s fifth round tie, knowing that a win would take them into the last eight of the competition and just two wins away from the Final.

But Martinez still believes his team have a chance of finishing with a flourish in the Premier League and securing European football that way.

AFC Bournemouth v Everton

The Emirates FA Cup
Fifth Round Proper
5.15pm, Saturday 20 February 2016
Goldsands Stadium, Bournemouth
Winners receive £180,000 from prize fund
Live on BBC One

"We don't need to win The FA Cup to save our season," said Martinez, who won the competition as Wigan Athletic boss in 2013.

"We respect The FA Cup, but there is still a long way to go before we can think about winning it. It is only the fifth round now.

"Our away form has been outstanding. We need to be a little more focused, but we are very close to reaching our aim in the league.

"We aim to finish in the European positions in the table. We want to make our way into the European positions and I think we can achieve that."

Martinez’s men just missed out on a Wembley trip earlier this month, when they lost a two-legged semi-final to Manchester City.

After their home defeat against West Bromwich Albion in the league last week, the Goodison Park crowd voiced their feelings at the result.

And the former Swansea City boss admits he shares those same frustrations as he looks to build a successful team so isn’t unduly worried about the growing dissent.

Emirates FA Cup highlights: Carlisle United 0-3 Everton

"It's not concerning because we are all sharing the same feeling," he explained.

"I thought we had a really good, brave, double-leg semi-final with Manchester City.

"We were disappointed not to get through and I think it shows how far the expectations have grown and how far we've come.

"We were the first ones to be frustrated and disappointed with what we were seeing. We were seeing a team dominating and creating chances and not being able to find the back of the net [against WBA].

"I'm in an advantageous position to know what the team needs and how the players feel. But I understand the reaction from the crowd."

By Nicholas Veevers