Everton latest: Martinez linked with exit and tips Barkley for World Cup

Roberto Martinez

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Everton take on Newcastle United tonight, and boss Roberto Martinez believes that with a win at St. James' Park, the Toffees could pile the pressure on fourth placed Arsenal, who of course suffered a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of rivals Chelsea last weekend.

“They have had major injuries, the squad is very reduced to the bare bones, and they have a real focus on the FA Cup as an opportunity to win a trophy. So you think that it is going to be a challenging ending to the season for them. From our point of view, in our ­position, you have to just try and get as many points as you can, and then you can look at the others," said Martinez.

“When you get over 70 points, you can look. If you don’t get over 70 points you have no chance of fourth spot. But if you do, then I still believe it will give you a great opportunity," added the Spaniard.

A large part of Everton's success this season has been down to the rapid improvement of young midfielder Ross Barkley. The 20-year-old has hit four goals this season, leading to him breaking into Roy Hodgson's England squad, and Martinez has tipped Barkley to make an impact at the World Cup this summer - should he make it into the final 23-man squad.

"Ross has had such a demanding season, the most demanding in his professional career, and now he has come back really strongly for the final third of the season," said the former Wigan boss "What is important for us is to see Ross developing into an incredible footballer and the national team will have the opportunity to use his abilities. When that is going to happen is down to the England manager."

"He is ready to help if he is needed in the England set-up but we have real trust in the England manager to make the decisions he needs to make depending on what he needs in the squad. It will be something which wouldn't faze him that's for sure."

There could be bad news on the horizon though, as reports suggest that Barcelona are eyeing up a swoop for manager Martinez should current boss Gerardo Martino leave the Camp Nou at the end of the season. Martinez's impressive work with Everton this season has attracted the interest of the Catalan giants, particularly after aiding the development of Barcelona loanee Gerard Deulofeu, and it could be too big of a move to turn down.

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