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Martinez: The players gave everything they had

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Manager's post-match comments after another embarrassment

Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The only positive that the fans could derive from Everton's game today is that it puts us 90 minutes closer to the end of this miserable season. After another shambolic performance in defence, the Blues slipped to a 3-0 loss that ensured safety for the hosts Sunderland in the Premier League, at the cost of bitter rivals Newcastle United, and Norwich City as well.

After the game, manager Roberto Martinez refused to blame his players, saying they did not let him or the team down -

"No, I wouldn't say the performance.

"It was a very tough result to take. We started the game really well. Then we got into a phase where we kept the ball well but didn't have much of a threat in the final third.

"We were a little bit slow and pedestrian but I thought the effort and intent was there in a very competitive game.

"Goals play a big part in deciding these sort of games and the first goal was a disappointing action from us.

"I think it is one of those aspects in the game that plays a big part. Joel tries to read the ball and he goes into his post.

"Then that momentum gives Sunderland another goal from a corner and the scoreline becomes very, very difficult.

"But we never gave up. And second half again Sunderland were very efficient in front of goal. At times through merit, at times through a little bit of luck, which plays a big part.

"The scoreline is tough to take because we kept pushing, we kept creating chances and I thought Vito Mannone was in a very good moment of form.

"Overall we fought for every ball, we put in a lot of effort and Sunderland got the goals."

When asked if the players had given up, Martinez was emphatic that they hadn't and were still fighting -

"100 percent.

"What we're focusing now is to prepare the game for Sunday and try to get a winning feeling. Ibn football, all you have to do is to prepare the next game and get wins.

"The players gave everything they had and I don't think that's in question today.

"Since the semi-final it's been difficult to get that belief, that good play and that intensity in the league.

"I think Sunderland were the opposite. A fully-focused team in the league. They have created a really good momentum.

"I think the difference was in the box, but there wasn't a big difference in the overall game."