Martinez's attitude makes everything a positive

Clive Brunskill

The Spaniard's approach is a breath of fresh air.

There were a small number of Wigan fans (there's not many of them to start with) who had begun to grow tired of Roberto Martinez's boundless positivity, his determination to look on the bright side no matter how depressing the defeat.

It was perhaps understandable, as a fan all you want to do after a loss is have a right good moan, especially when you are getting thumped 9-0 by Spurs..

But they quickly changed their minds when Martinez's approach kept Wigan in the Premier League for longer than they perhaps should and also took home the FA Cup in 2013.

Since moving to Goodison - 12 months and one day ago - the Spaniard's boundless optimism has become just as infectious, permeating the minds of everyone involved in the club from the coaching staff and players to the supporters.

We have all fully bought into his mantra; that there are no problems only opportunities.

Martinez looks set to apply that approach to what for many has become an energy sapping bind - the Europa League.

Harry Redknapp for example could barely hide his disgust for the competition while at Tottenham, seemingly doing his best to tumble out at the earliest opportunity.

It can't be denied that the extra games put a strain on the squad, but the same would apply if we were in the Champions League (albeit with greater financial rewards).

Yes, playing on a Sunday can be a pain, but most of the top clubs rarely play every Saturday because they are broadcast on TV anyway. It is not seen as a massive problem then.

Evertonians are relishing the chance to head off into Europe again, enjoying some memorable away days at far flung outposts. And it is exciting to know that when we all get there, we will be watching a team that is energised and ready to win, if Martinez's quotes are anything to go by:

"I am aware of the demands and I think it’s important that we are aware – but that’s what we wanted.

"We do want to put ourselves under massive pressure in terms of performing week in week out in every competition that we are involved in.

"We need to be a team who can cope with those expectations and demands in European football and I have always said that as long as we embrace it, prepare well and give everything we have got, I know that our fans will support us whatever the outcome is.

"That’s a big advantage we have and it comes as a consequence of a very good season. Now we need to build on that and the best possible way is pushing ourselves even further, and to do that you need the European challenge."

"I think we are ready for it – I do believe that it arrives at the right time. It feels like a real achievement and it’s not like we got European qualification through the back door as a consequence of being fortunate.

"We worked really hard. We wanted to finish in the top four but we just missed out. But we had the right numbers – 72 points would have guaranteed Champions League in eight out of the last 10 seasons.

"So we are very excited and the young players will be looking forward to experiencing that for the first time. The experienced players, I think they are ready to be tested and be part of a very demanding season.

"So, all in all, as a football club we are ready to travel around Europe and show how far we can go."

For that reason I think we have a real chance of going far in the competition, certainly well into the knockout stages.

And as Martinez has said previously, this is all part of a long-term plan to get us back to the top given we haven't got the petrol-dollars to buy a shortcut.

The Europa League is the beginning, not the end. Which is why we all should share our manager's optimism and embrace his positivity.

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