Premier League: Roberto Martinez says European football key to Everton's growth
Last Updated: 13/03/14 5:29pm
Everton boss Roberto Martinez does not see the Europa League as a hindrance and says it would help the club move forward.
Roberto Martinez says European qualification this season remains an important part of his long-term plan for Everton.
The chances of a top-four finish have diminished in recent weeks, and Martinez's side are now nine points off the Champions League places with 11 games to play.
But Manchester City's League Cup win means there are likely to be two Europa League spots available through Premier League placings, and Martinez would not pass up the chance to compete in a tournament whose Thursday scheduling has been criticised by some managers.
"Getting into Europe is a big objective and something that would allow us to grow as a football club," Martinez said.
"Qualifying for Europe for us would be a massive step forward because it would bring massive football occasions that I do feel we need to be able to develop into the type of team we want to be.
"We have 48 points and that is a good return. Can we get top four? Mathematically, we can. You look at the points tally you might need to get in those positions and that is still achievable.
"Then after that you've got the Europa League qualification which is another important aim to fight for.
"It would be easy for us to say that we don't want to qualify for Europe and just let the season cruise through. That's not the case at all."