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Everton boss: Leicester an inspiration for everyone

Roberto Martinez needs some inspiration. Credit: PA

Roberto Martinez hailed Leicester as an inspiration - but would be surprised to see other underdogs follow in their footsteps.

Everton will be the guests at the Foxes' title party on Saturday when Claudio Ranieri's men will complete their impossible dream by lifting the Premier League trophy.

Usurping the big boys in the way Leicester have has caught the imagination of people across the world and left fans of teams everywhere wondering whether next time it could be them.

You need to see it as the exception that proves the norm or something that is going to change the landscape of the competitive nature of the league. It's too early to see how that's going to develop.

What Leicester have achieved is a great inspiration for any team sport and for any group in order to dream high and have huge expectations but I think we need to be realistic that this is not the norm.

It's something we haven't seen in the modern game and I don't think that's going to be repeated easily.

– Roberto Martinez

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Martinez: Don't judge Everton on recent months

Roberto Martinez is under pressure. Credit: PA

Everton's under-pressure manager Roberto Martinez has called on his critics to judge him over three years, not three months.

Martinez is fighting for his future on Merseyside, with a talented Toffees squad sitting 11th in the Premier League table and coming off the back of a disheartening loss to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final.

The Spaniard accepts dissatisfaction from the fans, who appear to be turning away from him in large numbers, but hopes recent results will not be taken in isolation.

Scrutiny I welcome and accept. I understand it completely. I always encourage huge expectations and as a football club we have to drive to challenge for silverware and challenge for the top four.

When we're not, scrutiny needs to be there. But it shouldn't be scrutiny of the last two months or three months. It should be of three seasons, scrutiny about the team we've put together.

The first season we had a record points tally, last season we were the last team in the British game to be knocked out of Europe, this season we made two semi-finals.

I'm ready to fight more than ever and closer, probably, to finding a way to challenge for silverware.

– Roberto Martinez

FA Cup semi-final starting XI's: Everton v Man Utd

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Everton defender apologises for injuring Liverpool star

Ramiro Funes Mori was sent off. Credit: PA

Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori has apologised for his foul on Divock Origi on Wednesday night.

The challenge resulted in the centre-back being dismissed by referee Bobby Madley and Origi having to be stretchered off.

I very much regret what happened yesterday. It was never my intention to harm a rival nor my colleagues (by) leaving the field.

And regarding Divock Origi, I fervently hope it's nothing serious and know that was never my intention to hurt (him). I ask my apologies (sic) for what happened.

– Ramiro Funes Mori

Martinez admits crunch time has arrived for Everton

Martinez needs some good results at Everton. Credit: PA

Manager Roberto Martinez admits Everton face a pivotal week but not in terms of his future.

The Spaniard is under increasing pressure after a number of disappointing performances, but the next few days could help alleviate that as he has a Merseyside derby at Anfield and then a Wembley FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United.

"It is a defining week for our season - I wouldn't like to go through this season without a defining week," he said.

"Football is about results and I will never be stupid enough to look away from that aspect.

"The first day I arrived I am the one who brought the expectations, I am the one who drives the hunger and desire to take Everton where we should be competing for silverware and playing attractive football.

"It is about the players enjoying their football and having clarity in what they do and making the fans proud.

"We need our fans more than ever and need to fight every action on the pitch together.

"It is not about the manager, that is the least of my worries."

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