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Martinez urges unity ahead of decisive week

Boss understands the supporters' frustrations but needs their backing against Liverpool and Man Utd

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Roberto Martinez has acknowledged the simmering frustration among the fanbase but has urged the supporters to get behind the team ahead of the most decisive week of his tenure.

Everton face a daunting trip to Anfield and ab FA Cup semi-final at Wembley in the space of four days, with defeat in both games almost certainly pushing Martinez beyond the point of no return.

The Spaniard has lost the support of most of the fanbase after yet another below-par campaign, particularly at home where they will yield their lowest ever points haul even if they win their final two games.

Tensions have spilled over in recent weeks, with supporters expressing their frustration in the form of protest banners. One fan even ran on the pitch in an attempt to remonstrate with Martinez against Southampton on Saturday.

It leaves the club seemingly in a state of disarray ahead of their two biggest matches of the season as they seek to end their 17-year Anfield hoodoo as well as edge closer to winning a first trophy since 1995.

Martinez accepts the criticism hurled in his direction but has called on the fractured fanbase to unite as one behind the team - for the next few days at least.

"We need to make sure this week we make them proud. I know when we need their support, they are always there.

"I understand why there has been unrest. Our results at home haven’t been anywhere near where we have wanted.

"But we have a very tight group and everybody is desperate to be on the pitch to help the side.

"(Goodison) could be an incredibly positive place this time next week. That’s what we are fighting for.

"We have that in our side. You work for 10 months to be able to get into a semi-final of an FA Cup."