Roberto Martinez won't blame Everton defence for Euro exit

Everton Goodison 2

Despite Everton exiting the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night in a 5-2 defeat at Dynamo Kiev, manager Roberto Martinez refused to blame individuals.

Everton were the last remaining English club in Europe, but it was a familiar story as the Toffees threw away a 2-1 first leg lead in a 5-2 mauling in Kiev. Roberto Martinez must now turn to a survival bid in the Premier League, with his side sitting just six points above the drop zone in 14th place.

However, the Spaniard refused to blame individuals for the defensive collapse in Kiev - with one defender, Phil Jagielka, scoring a late consolation goal - claiming his side didn't do enough as a whole. Speaking to the Liverpool Echo Martinez said:  "The defence have been very strong in the last two games. And I felt the communication and experience between them would be important today. I think it is a case of the whole team not defending well enough.

"I don't think it was a case of the personnel. I think it was a case of Dynamo building a lot of momentum with their home crowd, with everything they hit going into the net, rather than us just being to blame, with not being able to defend a bit better.

Everton now face a trip to QPR on Saturday, followed by a tough assignment at home to Southampton after the international break. In a season that has never got going for the Merseysiders, Martinez may be thankful for some focus on a league campaign where safety is yet to be assured following just two wins in the calendar year of 2015.

Martinez also felt Everton were unlucky not to score more on Thursday night with Ross Barkley in particular a threat, hitting the woodwork twice, and he will be hoping the England man's form continues to decisively haul Everton away from trouble.

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