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Everton at Liverpool: "We want to make the fans proud"

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"It's a defining week for our season." - says Toffees boss

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

At Finch Farm Tuesday morning a packed media room with journalists all having 'unique' and 'phenomenal' already written down in shorthand ready for the arrival of Everton manager Roberto Martinez ahead of his pre-match press conference to help preview Wednesday's Merseyside Derby against Liverpool.

One of the first questions for the politician-like Martinez to bat off was about the Spaniard's position as Toffees manager:

"Football is about results, it's about the results business. I would never be stupid enough to look away from that."

He continued by sayin:

"It's a defining week for our season. To be in a semi-final of the FA Cup is an incredible opportunity and we're all very excited, but that's something we will address after Wednesday.

"The derby is more than a game, it's not just three points but an opportunity to make our fans proud. We are facing a team in good form and we're looking forward to playing a big part in this derby."

Roberto went on to say:

"It is quite a unique situation. It's very rare to see a team so consistent away from home, it's Champions League form away from home.

"It's going to be an important assessment at the end of the season.

"I don't think it's a case of addressing mistakes. It's about playing in a way that is going to be very effective.

"I'll take responsibility for it.

"We have to achieve that away form, at home."

Martinez did have a message for Everton fans that are feeling frustrated with himself and the team

"The message is that we understand that nobody can be happy about the form at home, but we are doing everything we can do.

"We need the fans in the semi-final.

"Everything we do is to make our fans proud."

Focusing more on Wednesday's clash the gaffer explained,:

"All it is is about the players enjoying their football and making the fans proud."

"It's been a challenging two weeks. The squad has been tested to the maximum and I think we reacted really well. We've been pleased with the young players.

"We are looking forward to the next five games.

"It brings an extra spice. I'm looking forward to it."

But it was when the focus shifted to team news was when the 42-year-old was most useful,"Seamus Coleman and Phil Jagielka will definitely be out of the derby. It's too early to make a final decision before the weekend.

"We're going to assess tonight's session for Aaron Lennon, Leighton Baines and Tom Cleverley, to have a final decision. They're very, very close and we'll have a better idea if they are available for tomorrow.

"James McCarthy is back from suspension so that will be a clear difference from the squad we had at the weekend."

When Seamus Coleman was taken off because of injury on Saturday it was young Callum Connolly who stepped in and Martinez thinks that the 18-year-old and his fellow young colleagues are mentally ready for the task if needed to be called upon.

"That was a big positive from the weekend [against Southampton]. It was probably the most stretched we've been.

"I think they are ready mentally, with the young players we are in safe hands."