No-one to blame for Everton's struggles - Martinez


Roberto Martinez has claimed no-one is to blame for Everton's disappointing season, as the struggling Toffees prepare to visit Crystal Palace on Wednesday without injured captain Phil Jagielka.

Everton played out a 1-1 draw at Watford last time out and are winless in their past four Premier League matches.

That run of results has left Everton 14th in the table and increased the pressure on manager Martinez, who has failed to match the high standards set in his first season in charge in 2013-14, when the Toffees finished fifth, ahead of Tottenham and Manchester United, after challenging for a Champions League place. 

Some supporters have already turned on the former Wigan Athletic manager, displaying banners calling for his departure from Goodison Park.

But the Spaniard, who could only guide Everton to 11th last season, continued to strike a defiant tone as he addressed the media ahead of the trip to Selhurst Park.  

"There is no such thing as blame," he said. "The reality is we've been really, really good in certain aspects and really, really poor in others. 

"We haven't been able to manage games well enough, we haven't conserved leads, we've thrown really good positions away and it's been reflected in the score lines. Clearly we need to get better." 

Everton will be without Jagielka against Palace after the centre-back limped off against Watford with a hamstring problem, but the 33-year-old has not been ruled out of the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United or West Ham on April 23.

"The scans revealed he's going to miss [Wednesday's] game and the game at the weekend against Southampton," Martinez said.

"At that point we'll have to assess it on a daily basis. It's such a congested period that it'll be dangerous to give a date on when he'll be back."

Tom Cleverley is also in doubt for the Palace match, but Ross Barkley has been passed fit to play in London.

Looking ahead to next season, Everton could be without Ramiro Funes Mori at the start of the campaign, with Argentina keen to select the defender for both the Copa America and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 

"I had two conversations with the Argentina manager Tata Martino," Martinez said. 

"And there is interest in trying to make Ramiro ... go to the Olympic Games. We need to find out a bit more and see where we are at the end of the season. There is also the Copa America so we will have to see how things progress."