Martinez accepts criticism for slump

Roberto Martinez (Supplied)
Roberto Martinez (Supplied)

Cape Town - Everton manager Roberto Martinez said he accepts the criticism being aimed his way after a series of dreadful results left a team packed full of promising talents languishing 12th in the Premier League.

The club's miserable recent form was compounded on Wednesday when they exited the League Cup to Manchester City on the back of a dismal run in the league where they have won one of their last 10 encounters.

The League Cup defeat is still a sore point of contention for Martinez, who said he would be speaking with referee's chief Mike Riley to discuss decisions that had gone against his side recently.

City's second goal in the semifinal defeat, when the ball had gone out of play before being crossed for Kevin De Bruyne to finish, is likely to be foremost on his mind.

Martinez, whose side visit Carlisle United in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday, denied that a team containing Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku and England prospects Ross Barkley and John Stones, were underachieving.

Yet he added that he was not the sort of manager who would make excuses for defeats.

"I will be fronting the criticism, as manager I accept that, and I share the supporters' frustrations because our football has deserved a lot more," he told reporters on Friday.

Part of the frustration among supporters comes from the talented and youthful makeup of their current squad.

In Lukaku they have one of the most potent strikers in England, with his 15 Premier League goals making him the second top scorer behind Leicester's Jamie Vardy, while Barkley's superb individual goal against City gave another glimpse of his enormous ability.

Martinez added that his side are "very close" to competing for titles, but also pleaded for patience from fans who believe the current squad should be doing better.

"We are not under-achieving because we never won the title in last three or four seasons. We are not a group that has reached a level of winning constantly yet," he said.

"What we are is an exciting group with the best potential in years of winning something at this club. It won't happen overnight and it won't be straight forward."

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