Thursday 06 June 2013
Roberto Martinez has set his sights on UEFA Champions League qualification after taking over as Everton manager.
The Blues achieved their best Barclays Premier League finish in four years when David Moyes guided them to sixth place last season but Martinez, who has signed a four-year contract with the Merseyside club, believes Everton can aim even higher and finish in the top four.
"Champions League qualification is the challenge – I do feel you need to have that football dream"
"Champions League qualification is the challenge," said the former Swansea City and Wigan Athletic manager. "It just comes with the title of being Everton manager. I do feel you need to have that football dream.
"When I started at Swansea I always said we needed to work towards eventually getting the club in the Premier League and that sounded obscene when we were in League One. I went to Wigan and said we needed to get into Europe. You have to have that dream.
"I have no right to see Everton in the Champions League because there are clubs who operate in a completely different way financially but with time in football you can achieve anything. If I was given the finances to compete for the Champions League that would be the target straightaway. That is not what we have got here.
"What we have got here is an incredible platform and we need to follow that dream of getting into Europe and the Champions League. We know how difficult that is going to be against sides who have that aim at the start of a season because of the finances they have."
Martinez, who led Wigan to their first major trophy last month when they won the FA Cup, admitted that he had large shoes to fill in replacing David Moyes, who has left Goodison Park to join Manchester United, but was looking forward to the challenge.
"It is a real special day to come to Everton and have this feeling already of excitement and honour and I'd like to thank the chairman [Bill Kenwright] for this opportunity," he said. "There is huge pressure but I am extremely proud of that pressure because it means what David Moyes did in 11 years is set high standards and lay an incredible platform.
"I feel lucky to be able to carry on that work. He has given Everton an identity and an incredible standard and all I want to do is be humble and hard-working enough to take this magnificent job to the next level."
Kenwright was also pleased to get his man after a long search to replace Moyes and the theatre impresario was convinced he had made the right appointment.
"It was exactly four weeks ago today that David told me he wanted to become the new manager of Manchester United, and in that time the club has continued on a long and exhaustive journey to find the right man to take this club forward," he said. "During the four weeks I have met some of the finest individuals you could meet in football, and the finest of them is sitting next to me now.
"To Evertonians, I say, if you had been at the meetings and conversations I have had with your new manager, you will be as thrilled, excited and in awe as I have been"
"To Evertonians, I say, if you had been at the meetings and conversations I have had with your new manager, you will be as thrilled, excited and in awe as I have been."
Under Moyes, Everton finished the season once in the top four, in 2004/05, and Martinez is hoping to repeat that feat, Kenwright revealed.
"Almost his first words to me were, 'I'll get you in the Champions League,' " Kenwright said. “That is extraordinary for a man who doesn't know much about the football club from the inside but who has obviously studied the football club and looked at what we have been doing the last few years."
It did not take long for Kenwright to be impressed by Martinez, whose FA Cup final victory over Manchester City with Wigan proved an influential factor.
"I'm not going to say to you it was like David Moyes, who got me in 30 seconds, he took at least 45 seconds," Kenwright said. "He showed me how he beat Manchester City at Wembley. I'd gone there to look at Roberto.
"He understands the game and he understands Everton. We did discuss at the first meeting we didn't want the standards and position David had achieved to slip: we wanted to build from that and that is the only statement we made."