Martinez: “Helping other teams is not the way we do things”
Boss wants to beat Manchester City to strengthen our own European hopes rather than do Liverpool a title favour.
So, at half five on Saturday Everton take on Manchester City at Goodison and it could be a strange atmosphere in the ground with some fans wanting Manchester City to beat us as a victory for the Blues of Manchester would see them almost certainly secure the Premier League title with a game in hand of Liverpool.
On the other hand, if Everton win on Saturday the title will be back in the hands of our city rivals, who play Crystal Palace on Monday night.
“Helping other teams is not the way we do things,” said Martinez. “We focus on trying to win for ourselves.”
We start the penultimate weekend of the season fifth in the table and still have a chance mathematically of securing a top-four finish and a spot in next season´s Champions League. Although is is looking as if we would have to rely on Arsenal slipping up in one of their remaining games, but nothing´s impossible.
The Gunners are fourth, four points above us and we still need points (at least one!) to be certain of a Europa League spot and personally I think it would be great to make European football a certainty on our final home game of the season.
Liverpool still lead the table despite their loss to Chelsea at the weekend but need a favour from us, as City are just three points behind with a superior goal difference and a game in hand.
Martinez says securing a European place is all he is thinking of ahead of City´s visit:”It is going to be a phenomenal test and we want to finish really strong at home,” said the gaffer.
“I always felt the relationship between the two clubs [Everton and Liverpool] in the city has had incredible chapters and this would be another fascinating chapter.
“There is no doubt of our integrity – we want to win every game we go into.
“We are looking at ourselves because these are precious points. We can´t afford not to give everything we have.”
Of course we will be without in-form midfielder Gareth Barry, who is ineligible to play as he is on loan from City but other than him, it is looking likely that Jags will be back from injury and will most likely go straight into the starting eleven. Whilst Distin is rated 50/50 for the game, Leighton Baines should also be available.
As much as some Evertonians will want us to get beat or others that perhaps won´t be too bothered about the result, I can see Martinez fielding the strongest team he has available and why shouldn´t he. We should be getting behind our team and making sure we get a result to secure our place in European football next season. Roberto and the players will keep fighting until the end so we should be right behind them.
But what do you all want on Saturday – a win or a loss?