Everton have relieved manager Roberto Martinez of his duties, the Premier League club have confirmed.Read the full story ›
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.
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.
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."
Roberto Martinez believes Everton are ready to finish the season with a bang.
The Toffees boss has come under fire this term with his side having won just four games at home, while they lie 11th in the Premier League.
But they remain just six points behind fifth-placed Manchester United and reached the FA Cup last eight by beating Bournemouth 2-0 on Saturday.
Martinez feels Everton are coming into form at just the right time to enjoy a successful end to the campaign.
"Another clean sheet keeps the consistency from our last four performances," he said.
"We look a really strong team now going into the final part of the season and I am really proud of going into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
"We will take it step by step. It was important that we showed we can adapt to this game and now we want to get a really good period in the league."
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Roberto Martinez has urged Everton to respond to their loss to Manchester United by bouncing back in a fixture that has caused them numerous problems down the years.
A week on from the 3-0 home defeat to United, the Merseysiders travel to Arsenal on Saturday looking to end a winless away streak that has stretched the entire 19 years of manager Arsene Wenger's reign.
And Toffees boss Martinez said on Thursday ahead of the Barclays Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium: "(The United match) was a really bad day for us.
"It was one of those results you could not see coming or expect.
"We want to be back to reaching our level, the level we showed consistently this season - and we will have to do it at one of the hardest arenas in the league and against one of the hardest oppositions."
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Roberto Martinez insisted his team's defending was not to blame after Everton suffered a thrashing at Dynamo Kiev that ensured there will be no British quarter-finalists in European competitions this season.
The Toffees went into Thursday's Europa League last-16 second leg in the Ukrainian capital leading the tie 2-1, but were thumped 5-2 at the Olympic Stadium to crash out 6-4 on aggregate.
Fine strikes from Dynamo's Andriy Yarmolenko and then Romelu Lukaku made it 1-1 on the night before Everton's poor defending allowed their hosts to score three times without reply through Lukasz Teodorczyk, Miguel Veloso and Oleg Gusev.
Martinez admitted Everton had not defended well enough but also stressed there had been some "incredible finishing" from Dynamo.
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.
The defence have been very strong in the last two games. I felt the communication and experience between them would be important.