Martinez: Everton are not mentally fragile


Everton manager Roberto Martinez said he is happy with his team's mental strength, denying they are fragile.

Martinez's side have failed to impress in the Premier League this season and are stuck in the bottom half of the table, but remain in the FA Cup as they chase a quarter-final victory over Chelsea.

But the Spaniard has been forced to field plenty of questions in regard to the mental strength of Everton, particularly after last weekend's 3-2 loss to West Ham, having surrendered a two-goal lead as his side continue to lose or draw games from winning positions.

However, Martinez said it was harsh to judge Everton on the West Ham game alone.

"It would not have happened like that if we hadnit missed a penalty," Martinez said.

"And we had been playing with 10 men for most of the game. If we had won the game we would have had an incredible boost, being a man down for so long it would have been a great achievement but the penalty affected the whole environment.

"It is not normal for a team that has conceded two goals in six games to give away three in 12 minutes. We don't react badly to conceding goals.

"We have lost a couple of two-goal leads this season but we have learned from that. In normal circumstances we can handle opponents pulling a goal back but against West Ham it was not normal circumstances.

"It was completely different."

An appearance at Wembley would certainly help change the perspective on Everton's underwhelming season to date.

The Merseyside outfit have been handed a tough draw against Premier League champions Chelsea - who now only have the FA Cup to play for having been eliminated from the Champions League - but Martinez knows a thing or two about winning crunch cup quarter-finals..

He did it once before with Wigan on the way to their remarkable cup triumph three years ago and - while he claims not to remember much about that 3-0 win in 2013 - he hopes his side can right the club's wrong league form with progression to the semi-finals.

"This quarter-final will bring together two teams that know each other really well and it should be another good game," the Spaniard said.

"The fact we have lost eight matches in the league is obviously not good enough but this is a chance to put some of that right.

"We have created negative momentum for ourselves at home, where things have gone against us in a way that has not happened in our away games.

"We have to stop that. This is a one-off game and it could be an important one."