Everton manager Roberto Martinez has insisted the side are not underachieving after their exit from the League Cup semi-final against Manchester City, and in their current position of 12th in the Premier League.
The Toffees boss is experiencing a little bit of difficulty at the club given that the club's wait for silverware goes on and the side have only managed to win six Premier League games so far this season.
Many feel that with the squad the Spaniard has at his disposal at Goodison Park that he should be doing better.
But Martinez told reporters at his pre-match press conference ahead of the FA Cup tie with Carlisle United, as reported by the Liverpool Echo: “I will never make excuses. I’m extremely aware of the expectation. I just feel we are very close to getting what the fans deserve.
“We are not underachieving. We have never won the title.
“We are a really exciting group of players and have the best potential in a number of years.
“We need to go thorugh painful lessons to be able to develop a knowhow of a winning team. We’re making progress.”
Given the overall picture, many fans will be a little surprised or puzzled by his comments. The standard of the Premier League this season has not been great, and Everton have managed to drop numerous points from winning positions this season that have proved costly - and many feel they should be closer to challenging for a place in the Champions League than they are now. Currently they are closer to the relegation zone.
Martinez is full of belief that he is the man that can bring the glory days back to the club.
He added: “We are talking about very small margins.
“We should finish with three points against Chelsea and a point against Swansea.
“I don’t think they reflect the level of our performance.
“I think this is a squad to be excited about. We are going to be resilient and make the fans proud.
"We are getting close to getting back to the glory years. But it won’t be easy or pain free."
There would probably be a little more slack cut for the Everton boss if the same mistakes that were costing them weren't happening repeatedly - with the latter stages of the games against Bournemouth and Chelsea a case in point.
This weekend is presents a potential banana skin for Everton when they travel to Carlisle United but they must surely do all that they can to go into the latter stages of the FA Cup. The club is crying out for and Martinez's credit with some of the support is running out a little. Ending the club's wait for a trophy is a pretty difficult job, but it would be a significant moment in his managerial career, and Everton's recent history, if he were to do it.
The bottom line is, Martinez has to back up his words with improvement pretty quickly.