• Premier League

Martinez targets 71 points for top four

ESPN staff
December 4, 2013
Everton sit fifth after routing Stoke 4-0 on Saturday © PA Photos

Roberto Martinez has set Everton a target of 71 points to seal Champions League qualification in his first season at the club.

The manager has done the maths to figure out exactly how well his players will need to do over the next five months to finish in the Premier League's top four.

In the 12 seasons that the Champions League had admitted four English clubs, only once has a team collected more than 70 points and failed to qualify - and that was Tottenham, who finished fifth in May with a final total of 72.

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Mathieu Flamini and Arsenal take on Hull © PA Photos
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Everton made it into the competition's play-off round in 2005 with just 61 points, but missed out on the group stages after losing over two legs to Villarreal.

Martinez, whose side are in fifth ahead of Wednesday night's Premier League trip to Manchester United, have collected 24 points from their opening 13 games. He wants them to maintain that average of just under two points a game for the rest of the season, so that they can enjoy a place in Europe's top club competition for only the fourth time in their history.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "To get into the Champions League, I can guarantee what you need to do is get an average of 1.94 points from the last 11 games.

"That is what we are working towards - getting into that position. Winning at Old Trafford or not is not going to affect being in that position.

"You need to be in a position where you can get around 70 points. If we get 71 points, we will be in the Champions League. It doesn't matter if we are 10th or 15th now. That's the way it happens."

According to chairman Bill Kenwright, Martinez declared during his interview for the Everton job that he could take the club into the Champions League. The manager, appointed in June, has been cautious about saying as much publicly during his first few months in the role, but appears to be happier discussing it now.

Martinez added: "What we have got is a very good mixture of experienced players who know the game and what to expect and they give you that safe outlook in your performance and then we have these young, brave arrogant footballers who are facing the unknown.

"When you have that mixture that pushes you to compete against anyone. I do feel we have that raw talent. We are embracing that very good experience and that makes our squad a very tough squad to play against."

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