Kevin Kilbane explains Everton's plight, singles out Belgium international

Kevin Kilbane believes the Europa League has been a distraction for Everton and the performances from Romelu Lukaku have been far from acceptable.

Former Everton utility man Kevin Kilbane explained on BBC Radio 5live that he believes the Europa League has been a big distraction for Everton this season, but also admitted ex-Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku is out of form.

The former Toffees midfielder took to the radio in order to try and calm the frustration of fans who were left worrying about relegation following a 2-0 defeat to Stoke City on Wednesday night. The 38-year-old was confident Everton wouldn’t go down but questioned whether that was enough for the fan base and pointed a finger at Lukaku for their plight.

Kilbane said: "Everton will be safe, but is that good enough for Evertonians?

‘’The big distraction has been Europe, getting results, but that has the knock-on effect in the league. Recent league performances have been really poor, and Romelu Lukaku is out of form."

Although the Belgium international netted an impressive five goals in two games in the Europa League against Young Boys, it’s been over a month since he found the back of the net in the Premier League, with his last goal coming against Crystal Palace.

As he is still 21, the drop in form shouldn’t be unexpected by Evertonians or Roberto Martinez as it’s often the case with young players still learning the game, even if in this case the player in question is far more experienced than your average 21-year-old.

The key for Martinez now is to try and alleviate some of the pressure on the youngster’s shoulders and ensure each player is supporting one another as they look to salvage their season by finishing as high up the table as possible.

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