Europa League will help make Everton better, insists Martinez

Roberto Martinez Press Conference Smiling

Roberto Martinez says reaching the Europa League would actually improve Everton.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes reaching the Europa League will make his side better.

Manchester City's Capital One Cup win means that the Premier League's sixth-place team will benefit from a place in UEFA's secondary competition next season, with the Goodison Park club currently neck-and-neck with Manchester United for the final qualification spot.

But English clubs have found the rigours of the Europa League to be a distraction to their domestic ambitions. Tottenham's run to the last 16 of the competition this season has proved detrimental to their bid for a top four finish and subsequent Champions League return.

Similarly, Swansea's progress to the last 32 did little to help their attempts to stave off relegation concerns, with only four points currently separating them from the drop zone.

Martinez, however, insists that Everton entering the Europa League would provide challenges that can act a springboard for the evolution of their squad development and has refused to concede defeat in the pursuit of returning to the competition for the first time since 2009.

"I think it would be very easy for us to say 'Yes, we don't want to qualify for Europe' and let the season just cruise through - that's not the case at all," he told his pre-match press conference.

"Qualifying for Europe, for us, it would be a massive step forward because it would bring big football occasions that I feel we need to be able to develop into the type of team that we want to be.

"Clearly getting into Europe is a big objective and something that would allow us to grow as a football club. All you need to do is, at the beginning of the season, plan the campaign bearing in mind that you're going to be invovled in Europe, and that brings extra demands.

"But the answer is very clear, if you're asking me can we get into Europe. The answer is that we're going to fight with everything to try to achieve that."

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